October 7, 2008
Penland: Identifying and Implementing Competencies for Transactional Lawyers
Lisa Penland (Drake) has published What a Transactional Lawyer Needs to Know: Identifying and Implementing Competencies for Transactional Lawyers, Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, Vol. 5, 2008. Here is the abstract:
While many law schools are beginning to teach transactional skills to train transactional lawyers for the practice of law, a gap remains between the minimal transactional skills a young lawyer should have and those that the recent law school graduate actually possesses. The primary purpose of this article is to identify basic transactional competencies for transactional lawyers and provide resources and direction for obtaining those transactional competencies. The article will take a brief look at the history of formal transactional training in law school; identify basic transactional skills necessary to prepare a lawyer for transactional practice; and provide insight into attaining transactional competency.
Both the MacCrate Report and available statistics support the assertion that transactional practice is more than alive and well; it is equal and perhaps dominant to litigation practice. Additionally, even those litigation attorneys who proclaim they have never engaged in transactional practice have undoubtedly drafted the most basic of transactional documents - a settlement agreement. So, indeed, transactional competency is a must. However, while law schools are beginning to meet this real need, there is still a gap between what a transactional lawyer needs to know and what a law student learns in law school. -jl
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