Monday, November 17, 2014
For law students hoping to make a favorable impression on employers, load-up on practical skills courses
And here's another relevant offering from the new issue of the ABA's Student Lawyer Magazine that some of our readers will no doubt be interested in. The article is called Been There, Done That—Stand Out with Practical Training by Erin Bins who is the Director of Career Planning at Marquette U. Law School. Here's an excerpt:
Practical experience is irreplaceable, so be open-minded about opportunities. Don’t perseverate on perfect fit when considering the options immediately before you. Think globally in terms of your career. Courtroom confidence and poise are traits learned equally well in criminal and civil contexts, so the fact the externship is with the DA doesn’t preclude you from a future of civil trials.
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Your learning is in your control. Put yourself a step closer to being practice ready at graduation by gorging on curricular and training opportunities that equip you with skills.
Course selection. Enroll in courses with practical skills components. Advanced writing and research classes, contract drafting workshops, and pretrial and trial practice courses are great examples of classes that simulate practice through hands-on assignments. Negotiation and mediation workshops cultivate skills that invade nearly every corner of the profession.
In many instances these classes are instructed by adjunct professors. The residual benefits of having a teacher who still practices are many. Often class discussions encourage you to think about laws in the context of client objectives and outcomes and assignments are given with an emphasis on the present state of laws and procedures. “Best practices” are (hopefully) modeled and a conduit to a lawyer who knows you and your work is established.
Additional options for curricular choices that move you closer to being prepared to practice include courses that expose you to advanced civil and criminal procedures, evidentiary rules, and administrative law processes.
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