Monday, April 20, 2009
This is a great idea and kudos to Dean Michael Schill at UCLA for spearheading an approach that not only responds to the (we hope) temporary economic circumstances facing new law grads but also addresses concerns raised by the Carnegie Report regarding the relative dearth of skills training in law school. Here's a description of UCLA's planned program courtesy of our good buddies at Above the Law via the ABA Journal blog:
For the new practice skills program, 'the law school expects to develop curriculum in conjunction with leading law firms and corporate legal departments and to draw on the expertise of the Los Angeles legal community' the release adds.
. . . .
A core component of the Transition to Practice program will be capstone courses that will draw heavily on practice-oriented projects in addition to substantial research and written work. Capstone courses will include part-time externships within corporate legal departments, as well as clinical simulations, where students work with real legal problems in a controlled environment that permits reflection and generalization of lessons learned. The Transition to Practice program will also include a required workshop series designed to introduce students to the practical issues that confront new lawyers, ranging from how to define a work-product to understanding a client's business and goals, and handling practical problems of ethics and confidentiality. Capstone classes will be taught both by the core faculty of the law school and prominent practicing lawyers. The law school expects to develop curriculum in conjunction with leading law firms and corporate legal departments and to draw on the expertise of the Los Angeles legal community
My guess is that this program will give UCLA grads a competitive advantage in the local job market. Other schools better hup-two or they may get left in the dust. As a commentator we once quoted on this blog said: "Adapt or die."
I am the scholarship dude.