Saturday, July 6, 2013

"Real law practice experience and reputation are impossible to pick up in law school."

I can't say I disagree with the above quote that comes from the Lawyerist blog in a post entitled Can Clinical Education Make New Lawyers Useful?

But what's the alternative? For law schools to offer all theory and no practical application?  I don't think Sam Glover, author of the above post is suggesting that either - perhaps only that the notion law schools can make students truly "practice-ready" is a utopian fantasy.   But hey, you've got to start somewhere, right?  From Mr. Glover's post:

At first, the push to train lawyers in practical skills makes sense. On reflection, what is it that makes us think a few hours of “practical skills instruction” every week is going to turn new lawyers into useful lawyers?

Perhaps the most-important thing I learned after law school was that my smarts, talents, and hard work were not enough on their own to make me an effective lawyer. Nor were the legal writing, moot court, and criminal prosecution and defense clinics I took. Real law practice experience and reputation are impossible to pick up in law school. Yes, clinical instruction is a kind of practical experience, but it is certainly not enough, and definitely not all of the right kind.

Further, even if we assume law schools are competent to train law students to be competent as new lawyers, how can we be confident that law schools will train lawyers to work with the lawyers that hire them? Every lawyer and practice and firm are different, and many probably want to train their own associates.

Continue reading here.


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