Wednesday, January 31, 2018
This article on the Canadian online legal magazine Slaw.ca is by the Council of Canadian Law Deans discussing the history of legal education in Canada and noting the changing focus away from a purely theoretical curriculum towards a pedagogy that emphasizes practical skills training and clinical offerings. Like American law schools, the CCLD notes that Canadian law schools have historically focused on law as an academic pursuit with the pedagogy of choice being Landgell's case method approach. Eventually clinical courses emerged as an important part of the law school curriculum particularly in recent years given the growing desire to make legal education more practice-oriented. The CCLD then discusses several models reflecting different approaches to blending theory with practical skills training and the advantages and disadvantages of each. No doubt some of our readers will be interested in reading the take of Canadian law deans on clinical education and the challenge to find the right balance between theory and practical skills. Here's an excerpt:
. . . .
In defining what clinical education should look like there are several current approaches: Intra-Curricular, Extra-Curricular, Specialty Clinics, Experiential Courses, and Poverty Law Clinical Programs. There is also debate regarding the purposes of legal clinical education. Some argue that its utility is a means of teaching hands on practical lawyering skills to prepare for practice after school. Others see it as an opportunity for students to take on professional identities; deal with real law and ethical issues though working on real life cases. Still others see it as a means to politicize students to teach about social justice.
So which model is best and what is the purpose of clinical education for the modern Canadian law school? The answer to this question depends on many factors; financial resources, connections with the local legal community, particular access to justice needs in a particular region or province, and the number of willing practitioners to assist with these needs. These questions aside, one thing is clear, law schools are increasingly adjusting their approach to meet the needs of the profession, which includes increasing clinical opportunities and making them a more central component of the core curriculum, particularly in the upper years.
It should also be emphasized that offering clinical education does not preclude teaching research, theory or doctrine, but rather it strengthens it in a complimentary manner, broadening the elements of a law student’s knowledge and experience, serving to enhance their overall education. As stated in Educating Lawyers,
It would be a mistake, therefore, to take teaching centered on practice as hostile to generalization or theoretical formulation. Rather, careful analysis of intelligent practice reveals a more intricate relationship between theory and practice than in the positivist model – an understanding that is still poorly appreciated in the academy as a whole. (…) Learning situations such as the clinical case conference reveal the features of the environment in simplified forms so they can be understood by novice practitioners, who can begin to develop their own perception and judgment. In these situations, students often depend on conceptual knowledge to clarify conditions of practice while they gradually build up their repertoires of experience. For example novices can too learn rudiments of litigation, or client counseling, or negotiation by attending to the core element of the procedural and conceptual models exemplified in expert practice. The articulation and formulation of such core elements exemplifies the essential contribution of theoretical work to the domain of practice.
. . . .
Continue reading here.
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
As of 1/19/18, there are 191,998 applications submitted by 29,287 applicants for the 2018–2019 academic year. Applicants are up 9.5% and applications are up 10.6% from 2017–2018.
Last year at this time, we had 48% of the preliminary final applicant and 49% of the application count. For updates, go to LSAC.org/LSACResources/data/three-year-volume.
LSAT test takers are also up from the quarterly benchmarks of last year anywhere from 10.7% to 27.9% (for the December administration of the test. Click here to see some additional data made available by LSAC regarding law school applications and applicants for the last three academic year cycles.
Hat tip to the ABA Journal blog.
A few years ago, four girls graduated from high school on a beautiful Saturday in May. They decided to go to one of their parents' homes in the Hamptons to celebrate. The driver of the car texted and looked at her phone as she was driving. They held the funeral for the four girls on the next Saturday.
Anyone who thinks they can text and drive are fooling themselves. They suffer from a cognitive bias--the overconfidence effect. AAA has asserted that distracted driving is just as dangerous as drunken driving.
The same is true for those who look down constantly at their smart phones as they are walking. The New York Post had an article a couple of years about distracted walkers, and the many accidents they caused.
Distracted driving and distracted walking are both dangerous. Don't let your cognitive biases fool you into thinking you can avoid the danger.
For more information see Overcoming Cognitive Biases: Thinking More Clearly and Avoiding Manipulation by Others.
Put the damn phone down, will you please?!? Because constantly looking at it is not only having a negative effect on your mood, level of depression, ability to concentrate, and social engagement - to say nothing of poor manners - but it's also affecting your physical health due to a newly recognized medical condition called "text neck." And because 75% of people surveyed by the Pew Research Center don't think they're part of the problem - that it's the other guy - when it comes to unhealthy smartphone use, your denial is almost certainly evidence that, yes, you too have a problem when it comes to using these devices to an unhealthy degree. Read all about it in this story from the New York Times called Keep Your Head Up: How Smartphone Addiction Kills Manners and Moods.
Monday, January 29, 2018
Reflections on Identifying and Mapping Learning Competencies and Outcomes: What Do We Want Law Students to Learn?
This article considers the reasons why law schools have been asked to develop student learning outcomes and assess whether students are achieving them. It discusses the process one school undertook in developing outcomes as expressed in a set of competencies that its students would be expected to learn; and, it assesses that process. It concludes that, if undertaken with institutional commitment and effective strategies for faculty engagement, such a process can rationalize the curriculum, encourage faculty collaboration, and enhance student learning.
Sunday, January 28, 2018
An open letter signed by 30 leading neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, psychologists and other prominent researchers and scholars declares that there is no evidence to support the notion that individual student learning styles exist such as the so-called "visual," "audio" or "kinesthetic" styles commonly identified by teachers. So why does "learning style" theory persist? First, it has a lot of intuitive appeal - when we see, for example, students who've been raised on digital technologies constantly staring at their screens, it's very easy and natural to assume that they would learn best via visual, screen-based modalities (it's not true). Another reason the learning style myth has been so persistent is that when educators talk to students about their supposed "learning style," insofar as it causes students to think and reflect on how they actually learn, it can have a positive impact on learning outcomes. Thus, encouraging a belief in individual learning styles becomes somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy (but not because they work; rather it's the metacognitive aspect of asking students to reflect on their own thinking). So what's the harm in continuing to perpetuate a belief in "learning style" theory? As the scientists who signed the open letter argue, continuing to believe in a theory for which there is no empirical support means that precious educational resources will be diverted away from the study of more effective and merit-based learning strategies to the detriment of students.
Here's an excerpt from the letter which was published last March in The Guardian (UK) (I only just learned of it now):
There is widespread interest among teachers in the use of neuroscientific research findings in educational practice. However, there are also misconceptions and myths that are supposedly based on sound neuroscience that are prevalent in our schools. We wish to draw attention to this problem by focusing on an educational practice supposedly based on neuroscience that lacks sufficient evidence and so we believe should not be promoted or supported.
Generally known as “learning styles”, it is the belief that individuals can benefit from receiving information in their preferred format, based on a self-report questionnaire. This belief has much intuitive appeal because individuals are better at some things than others and ultimately there may be a brain basis for these differences. Learning styles promises to optimise education by tailoring materials to match the individual’s preferred mode of sensory information processing.
There are, however, a number of problems with the learning styles approach. First, there is no coherent framework of preferred learning styles. Usually, individuals are categorised into one of three preferred styles of auditory, visual or kinesthetic learners based on self-reports. One study found that there were more than 70 different models of learning styles including among others, “left v right brain,” “holistic v serialists,” “verbalisers v visualisers” and so on. The second problem is that categorising individuals can lead to the assumption of fixed or rigid learning style, which can impair motivation to apply oneself or adapt.
Finally, and most damning, is that there have been systematic studies of the effectiveness of learning styles that have consistently found either no evidence or very weak evidence to support the hypothesis that matching or “meshing” material in the appropriate format to an individual’s learning style is selectively more effective for educational attainment. Students will improve if they think about how they learn but not because material is matched to their supposed learning style. The Educational Endowment Foundation in the UK has concluded that learning styles is “Low impact for very low cost, based on limited evidence.”
These neuromyths may be ineffectual, but they are not low cost. We would submit that any activity that draws upon resources of time and money that could be better directed to evidence-based practices is costly and should be exposed and rejected. Such neuromyths create a false impression of individuals’ abilities, leading to expectations and excuses that are detrimental to learning in general, which is a cost in the long term.
. . . .
Continue reading here.
Saturday, January 27, 2018
The data is in from this fall's OCI hiring season and it shows that at the nation's largest firms (employing more than 700 attorneys), summer associate hiring is down for the first time since 2012. Of course time will tell whether this is temporary, relatively meaningless setback in terms of the overall strength of the legal job market or instead whether it portends a bigger problem yet to come. The American Lawyer has more details:
Law firms of 700 or more lawyers pulled back on summer associate hiring for the first time since 2012, according to new data from the National Association for Law Placement.
Fewer law students snagged associate jobs at the nation’s largest law firms last summer.
New data from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) shows that firms with more than 700 lawyers scaled back their summer associate classes in 2017—the first decrease since 2012, when large firms started rebuilding the summer associate programs they gutted amid the economic recession.
The average size of the incoming summer associate classes at those large firms last summer was 20, down from 22 in 2016. (Those figures are for each firm office, not the total for each firm.)
“This is a meaningful dip in recruiting at the largest firms,” NALP executive director James Leipold told the law firm recruiters and law school career services personnel assembled in New York Thursday for the the organization’s annual recruiting summit, where he revealed the latest figures. “For the last three or four years, we had this bump in Big Law recruiting as they regrew their summer classes. That has ended.”
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Continue reading here.
Now that the fall recruiting season is over, those students who didn't get jobs (which is usually the majority of them once you go outside the most elite law schools) have to kick their auxiliary job search strategies into high gear. That means lots of networking and schmoozing which most people find uncomfortable at best and, at worst, loath. To the rescue comes this networking pep-talk in the form of an article from National Jurist Magazine which includes advice on developing one's "elevator speech," how to use voicemail effectively, writing thank you notes, and developing an overarching, targeted networking strategy.
Here's an excerpt from How to Network Your Way to a Job:
Like most law students, Scott Armstrong did not find a legal job through on-campus recruitment. Nor did he find a job through his law school’s job board. And he learned quickly that most law firms do not post job openings on websites such as Indeed or Monster.
Still, Armstrong was able to land a job with Venable, a national law firm with more than 600 lawyers, just months after graduating from University of South Carolina School of Law in 2016.
The secret to his success is no secret at all. Armstrong employed a well-known tactic that thousands of law school graduates use every year to find jobs: networking.
Armstrong’s process was straightforward. He made connections, got referrals and initiated contact with target employers.
“I actually started with social media,” he said. “I went on LinkedIn and looked at lawyers in the D.C. metro area to find alumni from my law school.”
From there, he began sending direct messages and building network connections. About 90 percent of his messages went unanswered, but the alumni who did respond were more than happy to help. Eventually, he connected with a University of South Carolina alum who had worked in D.C. and had maintained professional relationships with lawyers in the area.
“He gave me a bunch of contacts and JACK CRITTENDEN AND TYLER ROBERTS recommended that I reach out to them,” Armstrong said. “I eventually got in touch with a lawyer at Venable who is now my supervisor.”
Armstrong’s situation is not unique. The majority of third-year law students start the spring semester without a full-time job lined up for after graduation. First- and second-year students looking for summer associate positions often find themselves in similar positions.
In fact, less than one-fourth of all law students get jobs through on-campus recruitment in the fall. So, if you don’t have a job offer yet, don’t despair. There are plenty of jobs in this market, even if finding those jobs will take more work.
. . . .
Continue reading here.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
It's that time of year again, when Professor Nancy Levit and Allen Rostron (both UMKC) publish their annual update to the definitive guide for authors interested in submitted articles to law reviews (which also happens to be the 24th most downloaded article of all time on SSRN). Here's a synopsis of this year's update to their full article which can be found on SSRN here.
We just updated our charts about law journal submissions, expedites, and rankings from different sources for the Spring 2018 submission season covering the 203 main journals of each law school.A couple of the highlights from this round of revisions are:First, again the chart includes information from the handful of journals that posted on their websites that they are not accepting submissions right now and what dates they say they'll resume accepting submissions.Second, while 62 law reviews still prefer or require submission through ExpressO, 31 schools (up from 27 at this time last year) now require Scholastica as the exclusive avenue for submissions, with 31 more preferring or strongly preferring it, and 28 accepting articles submitted through either ExpressO or Scholastica. Thirteen schools now have their own online web portals. And one school each accepts articles on Twitter and bepress, while two accept submissions through Lex Opus.The first chart contains information about each journal’s preferences about methods for submitting articles (e.g., e-mail, ExpressO, Scholastica, or regular mail), as well as special formatting requirements and how to request an expedited review. The second chart contains rankings information from U.S. News and World Report as well as data from Washington & Lee’s law review website.Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews and Journals: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1019029We’d welcome you to forward the link to anyone who you think might find it useful. We appreciate any feedback you might have.
"But in high schools and colleges, there is mounting evidence that the growth of online education is hurting a critical group: the less proficient students who are precisely those most in need of skilled classroom teachers."
"In the fully online model, on the other hand, a student may never be in the same room with an instructor. This category is the main problem. It is where less proficient students tend to run into trouble. After all, taking a class without a teacher requires high levels of self-motivation, self-regulation and organization. Yet in high schools across the country, students who are struggling in traditional classrooms are increasingly steered into online courses."
"This suggests that these online recovery courses often give students an easy passing grade without teaching them very much."
"Students with weak preparation don’t fare well in online college classes, as recent research by professors at Harvard and Stanford shows."
"The effects are lasting, with online students more likely to drop out of college altogether." "As of now, however, the evidence is clear. For advanced learners, online classes are a terrific option, but academically challenged students need a classroom with a teacher’s support."
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
preLaw Magazine highlights Suffolk U. School of Law's emphasis on "practice-ready" training for the 21st century
The Winter 2018 edition of preLaw Magazine has a very nice profile on Suffolk University School of Law's efforts to develop a practice-ready curriculum that focuses on the intersection of law and technology including experiential clinical offerings such as The Legal Innovation & Technology Lab and the Clinical Innovation and Technology Fellowship in which participants will explore ways to use technology to deliver more efficient legal services to clients. Here's an excerpt from the article:
It may be cliché to tout that your law school produces practice-ready lawyers, but the folks at Suffolk University Law School are redefining what that term means in the 21st century. By introducing concepts such as design thinking, lean thinking, process improvement and tech leveraging into its curriculum and clinics, Suffolk University has secured its position as one of the most innovative forces in legal education.
“It has long been a part of our DNA to give students the knowledge and skills they need to hit the round running,” said Andrew Perlman, dean at the Boston law school. “But what other kinds of skills do legal professionals need in the 21st century?”
Suffolk University is nationally recognized as a leader in experiential learning, offering numerous opportunities for students to enhance their skills in legal writing, trial advocacy and dispute resolution. During their three years at Suffolk University, students have several opportunities to participate in the school’s legal clinics.
Similar experiential opportunities abound at law schools across the nation, but what sets Suffolk University apart is its zeal for legal innovation and technology.
“Our definition of practice-ready needs to evolve over time,” Perlman said. “We need to teach our students all of the skills that are traditionally taught in law school but also teach them all of the skills that are relevant for legal professionals today.”
. . . .
You can read the full article from preLaw Magazine here.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Here are the details, such as they are:
Howard is hiring a new administrative coordinator in the Clinical Law Center. A link to the job posting has not been created yet, but if anyone knows of potentially interested candidates who have legal administrative experience and a commitment to social justice work, they should send their resume and cover letter to Bernice Ines at firstname.lastname@example.org. The position requires a B.A., associate’s degree or equivalent experience.
If an interested candidate has any questions, please reach out to Bernice Ines, above, or Valerie Schneider, below.
Oh behalf of Howard University School of Law,
Associate Professor of Law
Interim Director of the Clinical Law Center
Howard University School of Law
2900 Van Ness Street NW
Washington, DC 20008
For a New Year: An Invitation Regarding Law, Legal Education, and Imagining the Future by Michael Madison
Michael Madison has posted a five-part article on legal education and law practice. (beginning here)
"Here’s the general point. For several different, intersecting reasons – the economics of law practice, the economics of higher education, developments in information technology, international influences, changes to government institutions and practices, changes in the public sphere, changes in social structure (and/or revealed attributes of social structures), changes in the design of professional practice – many quarters of the legal profession shared a deep sense that something critical is upon us, that something critical is upon us particularly as law schools and law teachers, and that something critical is emerging at scale, not just in local classrooms. What’s the point of going to law school? What’s the point of practicing law? What are we trying to teach?"
Monday, January 22, 2018
Harvard Law Today is reporting on a new computer program developed by four Harvard Law School students that uses artificial intelligence to help lawyers draft contracts.
Four Harvard Law students have their heads in the cloud—and they think the rest of the legal profession should join them. With their powerful new search engine called Evisort that harnesses cloud storage and artificial intelligence, they hope to revolutionize the costly and labor-intensive way that lawyers currently handle contracts and other transactional work, liberating them for more creative and interesting tasks.
Developed by the students over the past two years, Evisort is “like Google for legal contracts,” says Jerry Ting ’18, co-founder and CEO, who came up with the idea as an undergraduate. While artificial intelligence is the cutting-edge of automating labor-intensive tasks such as document review, it hasn’t yet been widely applied to contracts. Evisort jumps into that gap by enabling lawyers to quickly sort through thousands of contracts and other documents to unlock key insights for transactional work. It has the potential to greatly enhance efficiency, improve accuracy, and save millions of dollars a year, the students and their supporters agree.
. . . .
Evisort first converts scanned documents to searchable text—nothing new here. But it’s the next steps that have a revolutionary application for lawyers. Using artificial intelligence, Evisort sorts through all the contracts, categorizing them by subject area and type of contract, and identifies provisions within each contract. A whole range of key data is extracted such as party names, dates, and size of the deal.
Let’s say a salesperson in the middle of closing a high-value deal comes to general counsel seeking guidance on negotiating a provision on the limitation of liability. Right now, the lawyer can do a word search for “limitation on liability” among the contracts the legal team has access to in order to find relevant contracts, but she would have to open each one to read it and see if it’s helpful. Evisort, however, instantly scans every contract in the entire company that includes a limitation on liability—pulling up only those within certain date or other parameters that the lawyer wants, such as only within sales agreements. It presents this data in chart form showing when the contract was signed, how much money was involved in the deal, the language of the limitation on liability—without the lawyer having to read each document.
. . . .
Continue reading here.
Law school, especially the first year, is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time for the lessons to sink in and proverbial "light bulb" to switch on. It means that for many students, after the first battery of exams is over and the second semester has begun, they're still working their way up the learning curve. And that means many of those students may be disappointed with their first semester grades and can easily become discouraged. But you have to remind yourself that the moment when all the material finally "clicks" occurs at different points in the semester for everyone. You'll get there, it just takes time.
To help keep 1L students motivated so they can push through the disappointment of first semester grades, this column from the National Jurist Magazine offers the following tips:
- Focus on exams and your exam-taking techniques from day one. Treat the writing of exams like it's an additional substantive course in your schedule. Analyze what went wrong, what you did right, and schedule time into your weekly study routine to take practice exams. (From my perspective, this can't be emphasized enough - the need to treat exam writing like a separate, discrete skill that must be practiced over and over again in order to improve).
- Related to that, develop a relationship with your professors. If you didn't do well on first semester exams, make appointments to meet with each of them in order to understand why. Even if you did well, meet with then anyway so you can better understand what went right and why.
Check out the rest of the column here.
Sunday, January 21, 2018
A Statistical Exploration: Analyzing the Relationship (If Any) between Externship Participation and Bar Exam Scores by Scott Johns
Relatively recently, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) claims that experiential legal education might negatively harm bar passage performance. Nevertheless, experiential learning opportunities, and, in particular, externships, are some of the most meaningful educational opportunities available to law school students. That raises an important empirical question, given the increasing emphasis of legal educators in providing more experiential learning opportunities for law students and the widespread participation of students, especially in externship programs, as one type of experiential learning opportunity. Do externship experiences have demonstrable value in positively influencing bar exam outcomes, or, as the NCBE seems to suggest, do externships negatively impact bar exam outcomes? This article walks step-by-step through the process of evaluating whether externship participation at our law school has any statistical relationship to bar exam scores, particularly for academically-struggling law school students. Initially, using longitudinal bar passage data over a three-year period, this study observes that students participating in externships positively outperform non-participants in bar passage rates, particularly for those students that struggled academically in law school. However, based on further statistical evaluation using regression analysis, this article finds that externship participation (to include number of externships taken) has no observable statistical relationship to bar exam scores, either positive or negative, leading to the conclusion that the NCBE’s claim, at least based on our bar takers with respect to externship participation, seems to be without merit.
Here are the details:
Georgia State University
College of Law
2018 Clinical Faculty Recruitment
HeLP Legal Services Clinic
Georgia State University’s College of Law seeks highly qualified applicants for a full-time clinical faculty position in its interdisciplinary Health Law Partnership (HeLP) Legal Services Clinic. The successful candidate may also be appointed as Director of the Health Law Partnership. Launched in 2004, HeLP is a community-based medical-legal collaboration among the law school, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Legal Aid Society (see www.healthlawpartnership.org). HeLP provides legal assistance to low-income families and their children who are patients at Children’s hospitals on civil matters that have the potential to improve children’s health and quality of life, such as laws related to public benefits, family welfare, housing, education, consumer rights, employment, disability, and permanency planning. The HeLP Clinic, Launched in 2007, teaches interdisciplinary collaborative problem-solving to students of law, medicine, and graduate students of social work, bioethics, and public health (see http://law.gsu.edu/clinics/help-legal-services-clinic/).
Appointment could begin as early as spring 2018. The position is a non-tenure track twelve-month clinical faculty appointment, with faculty status, a renewable contract, and job security commensurate with tenured faculty. Clinical faculty have voting rights and serve on faculty committees at the College of Law. Clinical faculty also teach non-clinic courses consistent with their expertise and interests.
Responsibilities of the position include:
- Supervising law students in casework and clinic projects;
- Supervising students from other professions and coordinating with other Georgia State University units and other academic institutions in Atlanta for the participation of non-law graduate students in the HeLP clinic;
- Sharing responsibility for developing and teaching seminar sessions;
- Performing administrative responsibilities associated with the HeLP and HeLP Clinic;
- Overseeing HeLP and related functions, including coordinating with HeLP partners;
- Collaborating with HeLP partners and others in the education of medical and other partners and constituents, and conducting research and policy advocacy consistent with the mission and components of HeLP.
Qualifications for the position include:
- A J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school and a strong academic record;
- Excellent experience in legal practice and lawyering skills;
- Membership in or ability to become a member of the State Bar of Georgia;
- 5 plus years of post-J.D. legal experience;
- Demonstrated commitment to social justice and an interest in clinical teaching;
- A proven record of (or clear demonstrated potential for) successful teaching and professional engagement;
- Prior medical, health-related, or legislative and policy experience a plus.
Part of a comprehensive research university, the College of Law is a dynamic urban-centered law school located in the heart of Atlanta with approximately 650 full- and part-time law students. The clinic is located in the Center for Clinical Programs, an in-house suite of clinic offices located in the new college of law building.
We encourage applications from candidates who would diversify our faculty. Georgia State University, a unit of the University System of Georgia, is an equal opportunity educational institution and an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. As required by Georgia State University, an appointment is contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background investigation.
Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.
- Letter of interest
- Curriculum Vitae
- Complete law school transcript
- At least two letters of reference
- Sample of Written Work (max. 10 pages)
Please submit applications to:
Prof. Leslie Wolf
Director, Center for Law, Health and Society, Center for Law, Health and
Chair, Faculty Recruitment Committee
College of Law, Georgia State University
P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
Friday, January 19, 2018
The Law School Admission Council and the Association of American Law Schools are launching a new website and social media campaign that will make the case for getting a law degree.
Two of legal education’s biggest players are teaming up to ease the path to law school for interested high school and college students.
The Law School Admission Council—which administers the Law School Admission Test and serves as the central clearinghouse for law school applications—and the Association of American Law Schools—which counts nearly all American Bar Association-accredited law schools as members—have launched a new partnership aimed at getting information about legal education into the hands of prospective students earlier in their academic careers.
The organizations plan to launch a new website and social media campaign that will provide information about what happens on law campuses, what graduates can do with a law degree, and how to apply. The groups also plan to bolster their outreach efforts with pre-law advisers across the country to help counter the narrative that law school is too expensive and jobs are too scarce.
“We want to better communicate to prospective law students and pre-law advisers about what’s going on in law schools today,” said AALS executive director Judith Areen. “Some of the criticism comes from people who are a little out of date.”
Areen and LSAC president Kellye Testy insist the initiative isn’t simply about boosting the number of people who apply to law school. Rather, they say the goal is to attract better candidates with a more comprehensive understanding of the opportunities a legal education creates. Moreover, they want to get prospective applicants thinking about law school as early as high school. The AALS is conducting a study of how and when college students make the decision to apply, or not to apply, to law school.
Continue reading here.
Thursday, January 18, 2018
BLS is among a small but growing group of law schools (here, here and here) which have sought partnerships, in this case with Big 8 accounting firm Deloitte Haskins, to teach students business skills. Partnering with Deloitte has resulted in an intensive, 4 day mini "boot-camp" that's intended to provide students with an understanding of business basics such as reading financial statements and how to develop a business plan so that they are better able to interact with and represent business clients once they get into practice. You can check out a description of the course here at the BLS website while this story in The Brooklyn Eagle more fully describes the program:
Brooklyn Law School, in collaboration with Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory (Deloitte) and John P. Oswald, President and CEO of Capital Trust Group and a member of the Law School's Board of Trustees, is today holding its sixth annual "Business Boot Camp," a four-day intensive training program designed to enhance the business and financial savvy of its students and to better meet the needs of today's evolving global business marketplace. A "mini MBA" course, the Boot Camp has been developed and taught by top business professionals and the law school's corporate and business law faculty and graduates. Since launching in 2013, more than 500 students have completed the course, for which they earn credit.
Led by professor Michael Gerber, an internationally recognized expert in bankruptcy law, Business Boot Camp offers students instruction on a range of issues that business professionals regularly encounter and increasingly lawyers must be familiar with, including developing a business plan, reading financial statements, valuing assets, raising capital and meeting business goals while complying with the law.
Throughout the course, presentations and panel discussions will feature industry experts and alumni who will focus on a host of issues ranging from cybersecurity to how to buy and sell a business.
"The classic law school experience teaches students to 'think like a lawyer.' That is essential, but there are times when practicing lawyers need to reach outside the traditional legal toolkit and also think like a business person," said Gerber. "There are common issues that all business professionals confront, and Brooklyn Law School's Business Boot Camp introduces students — even those who have never studied business, finance or economics — to the vocabulary and framework they will need to help clients deal with those issues."
. . . .
Continue reading here.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
If you thought super-computers like Watson were revolutionizing the workplace (and law practice in particular), you ain't seen nothing yet. Read this short piece from today's New York Times on "quantum computers" and their predicted impact on both education and the workplace. There's also a video below that explains quantum computing for the uninitiated. But first, here's a salient quote from the NYT article:
[IBM’s C.E.O. Ginni Rometty says]: “Every job will require some technology, and therefore we’ll need to revamp education. The K-12 curriculum is obvious, but it’s the adult retraining — lifelong learning systems — that will be even more important.”
Artificial intelligence “is the opportunity of our time, and skills are the issue of our time. Some jobs will be displaced, but 100 percent of jobs will be augmented by A.I.,” added Rometty. Technology companies “are inventing these technologies, so we have the responsibility to help people adapt to it — and I don’t mean just giving them tablets or P.C.s, but lifelong learning systems.”