3 Classes Every Law School Should Have
Nobody really wants to take more classes in law school, but wouldn't it be better if law schools had more classes on real law practice?
Like, how about a class on surviving law firm politics or billing more hours in less time? Actually, that could be one class -- law practice ethics.
Seriously, there are some things you don't learn until you start practicing. But more seriously, don't you wish law school had less theoretical and more practical instruction?
1. Starting a Law Firm
Statistically, most lawyers end up working for themselves or in small firms. It would be nice if somebody taught them how to do it.
Law schools classically teach students how to "think like a lawyer," but not how to "practice like a lawyer." Other than taking a class in oral advocacy or moot court, new attorneys typically don't have a clue about the real business of law.
So law schools, give us a class on starting a law firm, business structure, office management, support staff, technology, marketing, etc. Students and the public will thank you.
2. Law Practice Clinics
Some things -- like interviewing clients and examining witnesses -- you can't learn well in a classroom setting. That's why law schools need more practice clinics.
In a survey by Above the Law, respondents said they found litigation clinics most helpful in preparing them for law practice. They wanted the hands-on experience.
3. Internships and Externships
Most law schools help students make the transition to the outside through summer internships. It's a big enticement for students even before they enroll.
But every law school should also have can externship program, which gives students course credit for work they do during the school year. With a supervising instructor, it includes a classroom component to guide students along the way.
With more practical instruction, more graduates will be prepared for real-world law. And they won't be wondering why they didn't teach that in law school.
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