Friday, November 16, 2012
We have talked a lot on this blog about the need for lawyers who are self-regulated, self-reflective learners. The same call comes from a practioner. Why You Need to Self-Critique in Law School by Randall Ryder.
Ryder declares, "When you graduate law school, you should be able to think, talk, and write like a lawyer. You also need to be self-reliant and able to work on your own. With the legal economy undergoing a transformation, employers want young attorneys who jump into the fire right after graduation. You will still learn as a young attorney, but most employers expect you can complete a task on your own. In other words, you will be assigned a writing assignment and expected to finish it without much, if any, assistance."
He adds: "Every lawyer is different, but most attorneys probably don’t have the time (or interest) in reading an outline or a rough draft of a task they assigned you. Even if you have a mentor—it’s your job to research it, write, polish it, and submit a final product. If you can develop the ability to self-critique in law school, you will put yourself in a better position to succeed after law school."
He concludes, "If you are completely dependent on detailed feedback from other individuals, you are in for a rude awakening after law school."
Among the advice he gives to law students is to "Read, read, and read again" (your drafts) and to read your writing out loud.
(Scott Fruehwald) (hat tip: Jennifer Romig)