Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Practical skills don't matter much for the few seeking jobs with BigLaw; for everyone else, they matter a lot

From the blog Belly of the Beast under the title "Practical Skills":

[W]hen asked whether current law school innovations will help students land jobs, Timothy Lloyd, chair of Hogan Lovells recruiting committee, told the [Wall Street] Journal:

“It could enhance the reputation of the law school…as places that will produce lawyers who have practical skills. As to the particular student when I’m interviewing them? It doesn’t make much of a difference.”

Bingo. As a big law interviewer myself, I looked for intelligence, personality, and potential. Specific courses didn’t matter. Assessing candidates was and is subjective but, to adapt Justice Stewart’s pornography test, I usually knew a good one when I saw one.

Schools should expand clinical programs, but not because such student credentials matter to large firm recruiters. They don’t. However, those who don’t get big law jobs really need practical lawyering skills. Do it for them — the vast majority of today’s 50,000 annual graduates.

Schools should modernize curriculum, but not to become business school knockoffs for big law. That’s a mistake.

You can read the rest here.


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Looking only for intelligence, personality and potential and leaving practical lawyering skills for the small firms to worry about might have something to do with BigLaw's complaint that new associates don't know how to practice law.

Posted by: Anna Blaine | Jul 20, 2011 3:36:48 PM

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