Monday, September 22, 2014

California law deans talk about practical legal skills training

The Recorder talked to several California law school deans to pick their brains about how they are dealing with the weak job market for students.  All of them described the ways their respective schools are trying to impart more practical legal skills to students before they graduate.  For example, Loyola plans to launch in January a "Justice Entrepreneurship Incubator" to assist new grads who want to start solo practices focused on public interest law.   It's also rolling out a "resident associate program" that will involve participating students working for a year at a small or medium-sized firm at an annual salary of $40,000. After the year is up, firms can choose to offer the recent grad a job.

UC-Davis plans to start a new law school clinic to provide legal advice to undocumented students on campus.  IC-Irvine requires all students to participate in a clinic and last year added an optional "Third Year Intensive" program consisting of a self-directed project emphasizing practical skills.  The school also has plans to fund at least 12 year long fellowships for law grads that will pay $40k.

Santa Clara U. School of Law launched an entrepreneurs clinic last year which is supervised by Laura Lee Norris, the former vice president of legal affairs at Cypress Semiconductor.  SC also offers certificates in intellectual property and privacy law and runs the Northern California Innocence Project which provides additional opportunities for students to gain some practical legal experience.

You can read the full article from The Recorder here.


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