Thursday, June 19, 2014
Pace Law School's new dean, David Yassky, recently told an audience of New York attorneys at a Westchester county bar meeting that law firms are less willing than ever to train new law grads so that must become law school's # 1 job. And schools need to begin training students to practice in a specific area of law starting with the first semester. That means committing to clinical and skills training in the classroom and helping students connect with mentors and practitioners outside the classroom. From Westfair online:
Speaking to an audience composed largely of fellow attorneys, Pace Law School Dean David Yassky called this “a crazy moment in the legal profession.” It is also “a pivotal moment,” he said.
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Though change at law firms has not been as rapid as in newspaper publishing and other industries, said Yassky, “The best clients are more demanding than ever and expecting more value for their dollar than ever.” Firms are less able than ever before to train young lawyers on the job, he said.
At Pace, “It means our job is, more than it has ever been, to train students to be ready to go to work” with clinical training and skills that will allow young lawyers to start immediately in a practice.
From their first semester in law school, “I want to have our students be on the path to practice” in a specific area of the law, the dean said. Outside the classroom, students need to be connected to mentors and role models in the bar, he said.
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In a society changed by technology, “The need for lawyers is greater than ever,” Yassky said. “That work is more important and more needed than ever. I remain very bullish about the legal profession being the moving force it has always been.”
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