Thursday, May 7, 2009

New legal economy means BigLaw and elite law schools are "out" while regional schools and smaller firms are "in"

There are many silver linings in the current legal economic crisis.  One that we have repeatedly blogged about is that circumstances are forcing schools to create a greater nexus between the education they offer to students and the demands of employers.  A related benefit for those of us who work at the non-elite law schools (which, frankly, is most of us) is that our time has come, at least according to this story in the online ABA Journal which quotes Professor William Henderson of Indiana, an expert on law firms and the legal marketplace. 

With respect to employers, Professor Henderson says "the winners are regional law firms that will take work away from their larger competitors and the associates they employ. The losers will be big law firms with armies of associates and the elite law schools that supply the talent.”

Law schools?  Professor Henderson has you covered too: 

'Numerous law firm partners have told me about natural experiments in which associate from regional law school A, who everyone underestimated, outperformed entitled and complacent associates from national law school B,' Henderson writes. 'The firms are now systematically studying these observations using the techniques of industrial psychology. It is very interesting stuff.'

And what makes a regional law school education superior in the minds of many employers?  Say it with me now;  "skills training."

Read the ABA Journal story here and more of Professor Henderson's thoughts about the transforming legal marketplace here at the Legal Profession Blog.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl) 

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