Friday, January 24, 2014

An Open Letter To Law School Deans

Dear Law School Dean:

You are failing your students.  Here is why.

I am a small firm practitioner.  My ability to hire additional lawyers is driven by the amount of work available to keep those lawyers busy.  It is a delicate balancing act.    When our work volume gets to the point that we can start thinking about hiring another lawyer, we usually cannot afford to hire an experienced lawyer who requires no practical training.  At the same time we cannot afford to pay a brand new lawyer who does not know the process of practicing law.

I appreciate that it is necessary to know how to think like a lawyer.  That is not enough.  With the proliferation of law schools, and the superfluous number of graduates that those redundant law schools are producing, the law schools must provide practical training.  Law schools should be teaching law students how to practice law.  Law firms should not be an extension of law schools.  Coming out of law school, graduates should know what discovery is, they should know what case management is, they should know how to use Westlaw, Lexis Nexis, and other legal research tools.  Shame the law school that issues a degree to a graduate who has never seen a set of interrogatories, or a demand for production, or a request for admission.  Every law school graduate should know what a deposition is, and should have seen a deposition before showing up for his or first day of work as a lawyer.  Every law school graduate should have observed many days of a working courtroom before receiving the law degree.

Come on law schools, you have turned your institutions into gross assembly lines for the sake of profit, at least help the profession to be able to give those graduates jobs.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's like they're in it for the money or something!!

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