Larry Kramer, the Richard E. Lang Professor and Dean at Stanford Law School, highlights a few areas where legal education is failing students in “Law School Innovations Result In Broader Students:”
This shouldn’t surprise anyone: by the third year, students know the drill and are no longer getting as much from their classes….
The second problem with legal education is that it is too individually focused. Students basically work alone. They study for class and for their exams, they write their papers. But the work is all done individually, whereas lawyers in the real world invariably work in teams….
As the profession has evolved, the international or global dimension has become incredibly important, and we’re just starting to come to terms with what that means. What should we teach students who are going to work with lawyers, clients, businesses, and regulators from other countries and across borders?
Last, like every other profession, legal practice has become more specialized, and as that has happened, law firms have changed. They do not train young lawyers the way they used to: they can’t, their clients won’t pay for it. It’s not that law schools need to teach the nitty gritty of practicing law—new lawyers still learn this best by doing it, on the ground. Rather, law schools must teach students to be reflective lawyers, must teach them how to think about what they are doing and the choices they’re making. Clients will demand this of them, and rightly so. And lawyers need to be trained to be problem solvers as well as problem spotters.
Donald Polden, Dean and Professor of Law at Santa Clara University, addresses the importance of building leadership skills in law students in the article “Educating Law Students For Professional And Community Leadership:”
Instead of serving as community models of professional excellence, discernment and good judgment, lawyers in contemporary America are perceived to be caught up in the commercial and business demands of their work and are not sufficiently attuned to their prudential roles and responsibilities to their communities, to the national polity, and to the legal profession.
Daisy Hurst Floyd, Dean and Professor of Law at Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law, talks about the importance of developing a healthy professional identity in the artcile "A Matter of Identity:"
During their time in law school ... many students experience a loss of purpose, which is harmful to individual students and has negative consequences for the profession and for those served by the profession. The loss of purpose results from students’ changing identities.
In the article “Critical Relationship Building Skills For Associates,” Arnie Herz, a practicing attorney, mediator, and the author of the Legal Sanity blog, reveals three core business relationship principles that you need to know to have a successful and satisfying career.
Professional life coach Anne H. Whitaker will help you “Create A Personal Vision And Change Your Life.”
Paula Patton from the NALP Foundation discusses new insight on associate attrition in the article “Why Do Associates Leave Firms That Want Them To Stay?”
Among 2,225 associate departures reported by 118 law firms during 2006:
- 21% were characterized as “desired”
- 28% were characterized by law firms as being “neutral” departures (neither desired nor undesired)
- 51% were described as “undesired” or “unwanted”
In the article “Six Key Pieces Of Advice Straight From Corporate Counsel,” Marcie Borgal Shunk, a principal with The BTI Consulting Group, talks about the key characteristics corporate clients look for in a law firm.
And there are more interesting articles to read in The Complete Lawyer, so check it out.