Thursday, May 8, 2014
Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Launches National Project to Establish Professional “Foundations” for New Lawyers
Denver, Colo. – IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, is pleased to announce “Foundations for Practice.” Led by Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, this ambitious project focuses on improving legal education and closing the gap between how students are being taught in law school and the knowledge and skills legal professionals say new graduates need to succeed.
A generous gift of $150-thousand from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will support the first phase of the multi-year project. “Given the changing legal marketplace and profession, IAALS’ Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers can play an important role in better aligning our legal education system with the practical skills today’s lawyers require,” said Larry Kramer, President of the Hewlett Foundation.
“The Hewlett Foundation is committed to fostering education that prepares students to respond to a changing world,” said IAALS Executive Director Rebecca Love Kourlis. “Our ‘Foundations for Practice’ project will collect information and provide tools that will enable law schools to educate law students with a view toward what that changing world demands of lawyers. We are grateful to the Hewlett Foundation for their support and for their vision.”
Phase one of “Foundations for Practice” will involve national surveys and a series of convenings that will bring together representatives from all corners of the legal profession to discuss the foundational skills, characteristics, and competencies that new attorneys need to begin a successful and rewarding practice.
These foundations will be used to identify, assess, and implement new models for teaching law students, and also to provide tools for legal employers that can be used when evaluating recent graduates in the hiring process.
“There has never been a better—or more critical—time to draw the profession and academy together to identify the foundations entry-level lawyers need to practice,” said Alli Gerkman, Director of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers. “With our deep roots in both the academy and the profession, our commitment to research and collaboration, and the generous support of the Hewlett Foundation, Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers and IAALS are uniquely positioned to lead this conversation.”
The project’s first convening kicks off in May 2014 at the Penrose House in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
More info here.
A groundbreaking project to determine the foundations entry-level lawyers need to enter the profession and begin their careers.
Led by Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, this multi-year project will identify the desired foundations for new lawyers, the models of legal education necessary to get us there, and the tools legal employers can use to make better entry-level hiring decisions.
By understanding what foundational capacities new graduates need, law schools can better equip students to succeed.
Working with the profession and its Consortium of law schools, Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers will:
- Conduct a national survey of legal employers
- Convene focus groups of legal employers from around the country
- Bring all the necessary perspectives and stakeholders to the table
- Identify promising models of legal education that build the foundations identified by the profession
- Develop tools and metrics legal employers can use to hire promising entry-level lawyers.