Friday, February 21, 2014

The Wall Street Journal on skills BigLaw values in new lawyers

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has picked up the story about the Harvard Law School survey on skills BigLaw values in new attorneys referred to by my co-blogger Scott Fruehwald here and here.  The survey results do not purport to be representative of the skills legal employers value generally but if you're interested in working for some of the most elite law firms in the country, you'd be wise to double-down on accounting courses.  

Want to Excel in BigLaw? Master The Balance Sheet

Math-phobic law students with BigLaw dreams, listen up: if you want to excel after graduation, best brush up on your accounting skills.


This comes courtesy of Harvard Law School . . . which polled 124 lawyers at the 11 major law firms that employ the most HLS graduates on what courses and types of expertise best equip students for practicing law. The results were released this week.


Their responses—learn accounting, statistics, and how to analyze a financial statement—are sure to sadden the legions of students who opted for a legal career precisely because they loathe number-crunching.

. . . .

In addition to accounting, the attorneys advised students to take courses in corporate finance, negotiation and business strategy.


“Accounting is absolutely central to commercial life and for lawyers whose practice involves commerce, it is essential,” according to one veteran corporate partner at a top New York firm.

Continue reading here.


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