Monday, July 6, 2009
What Law Schools Should Teach Future Transactional Lawyers
I just posted the first draft of an edited version of my remarks given at the 2009 mid-year meeting of the AALS Conference on Business Associates. It's available for download here.
Here's the abstract:
Since at least the 1980’s, law schools have been chided for doing a poor job at teaching skills. This criticism has been accompanied by pressure to increase their emphasis on skills training. The pressure increased with the publication of the McCrate Report in 1992, and then again with the publication of the Carnegie Report in 2007. But is the underlying premise correct?
This article is an edited version of my remarks given at the 2009 mid-year meeting of the AALS Conference on Business Associates. In those remarks, I respond to the questions “Are law schools teaching students adequate transactional skills?” and “From the standpoint of preparing students for a transactional practice, what would you like to see law schools change?”
To answer these questions, I first examine what exactly people might mean when they refer to skills. After describing different categories of skills, I discuss which of these law schools can and should teach, and which should be left to law firms. Finally, I share some thoughts on how law schools can change to better prepare their students for a transactional practice.