Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stanford receives grant to study state of legal profession and recommend changes to legal education

Thanks to Stephanie West Allen at the Idealawg Blog for alerting us to this story.  From Stanford's press release:

Stanford Law School today announced that it has launched a comprehensive empirical study of the state of the legal profession with financial support from the Sidley Austin Foundation. The objective of the multi-year study is to describe and understand the state of the profession, including trends and emerging developments. The study will seek to develop policy recommendations to help law firms adapt their business models to better meet the needs of their clients and of a rapidly changing legal market.  It will also consider the implications of these changes for legal education

. . . .

'Twenty years ago, most lawyers would have scoffed at the idea that profitability—much less profits-per-partner—should be the measure of success for firms, but that’s where we are: to be bigger, to pay higher salaries, to bill more hours, to open more offices, to be more profitable,' [Stanford Law School Dean Larry] Kramer said.

Research for the Stanford Law School Study of the Legal Profession will focus first on gathering data to draw an accurate portrait of the new industrial organization of the legal profession for the purpose of analyzing the evolving structure and organization of firms, the effects of globalization and global competition, and the consequences and opportunities created by new technology, new forms of firm management, billing structures, employee training, changes in firm/client relations, and more. With this more accurate and comprehensive understanding of the state of the profession, the research will move in the next phase to identify problems and recommend solutions.

The study will be conducted over the next three to five years through the school’s Center on the Legal Profession.  It will be a collective effort, drawing upon the resources of the Stanford Law faculty, the Stanford Law alumni network, faculty from economics and the Graduate School of Business, and a broad spectrum of practicing lawyers, including managing partners and in-house counsel.

You can read the rest here.


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