Sunday, October 24, 2010

Several suggestions for better helping law students prepare for practice.

Thanks to our sister publication the Law Librarian Blog (and Joe Hodnicki) for alerting me to this post from 3 Geeks and a Law Blog entitled "What would you tell a law student before they enter the 'real world?'"  In the post, commentators representing a variety of perspectives including those who work in small firms, client services, business development, information technology, Internet marketing, library, and human resources.

Here's a summary of what they say:

  • Solo / Small Firm Perspective: You'll Have Enough Debt From Law School, Don't Add To It! By Jim Calloway
  • Client Services Perspective: Solve A Real Person's Problem. By Ayelette Robinson
  • Business Development Perspective: How You Develop Relationships Will Determine How Well You Do as a Lawyer. By Toby Brown
  • The Human Resources Perspective: If You Want To Know How Your Doing... Then Just Ask! By Greg Lambert
  • Information Technology Perspective: Embrace Law Firm Culture, It Will be Noticed. By Scott Preston
  • Internet Marketing Perspective: You're Already Marketing Yourself - So Think Before You Update Your Status! By Lisa Salazar
  • Library Perspective: Did You Know... By Mark Gediman

Joe Hodnicki adds that he thinks one of the most helpful things a new associate can do when tackling a research project is to ask a law librarian for help.

[H]ead straight to one of the firm's law librarians if it is a research assignment (and to one of the firm's more experienced paralegals if it is not and, don't forget those legal secretaries who are old enough to be your parents, assuming there are still some working at your firm!) Not only are these folks likely to know the assigning attorney's work product preferences but some can provide face-saving cover. Back in the day, I certainly did by going to the assigning attorney to say, "I'm helping so-and-so out, but I need more specificity to get the job done efficiently." Law librarians, and not just firm librarians, have plenty of experience with getting clarification for the vague, open-ended research assignment.

Read more of Joe's thoughts here and you can read the full version of the 3 Geeks and a Law Blog post here.


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