Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More on sending law firm associates to business school

We've blogged before about the concern from legal employers that law schools do more to teach students business skills.  Indeed, one BigLaw firm has made the decision to send its associates to business school to help add to their skill set (previous story here). This sounds like a win-win for everyone - the associates who get some valuable training at the firm's expense, the firm which gets more value out its associates, and the b-school which benefits by the addition of BigLaw associates in the classroom. Of course, few employers can afford the hefty price tag required to send several  associates at once to Harvard Business School but for those firms that can, its terrific. Let's check in with this update about one such program courtesy of the  online ABA Journal:

[NYC's Milbank] is spending about $5.8 million a year in expenses and lost billable hours to educate about 150 associates each year in an effort dubbed Milbank@Harvard, he writes for the American Lawyer. The program begins in associates’ third year and continues through their seventh year, until they have obtained the functional equivalent of an executive MBA degree.

“Milbank has likely identified a retention sweet spot,” Henderson writes. He notes that experienced junior associates are in short supply because of hiring cutbacks during the recession, making them a hot commodity in the lateral market. Associates are likely to value the training and may be more likely to stick around, given the results of a survey of lawyers who graduated in the year 2000. Sixty percent said they wished they had received more business training in law school; the number increased to 74 percent for those working in firms of more than 250 lawyers.



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