Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Practice-Ready Graduates

Here is an article from the New York Lawyer about revamping of law school curricula to produce practice-ready attorneys. There is a list of schools that are revamping their curricula to provide more hands-on training, and a discussion of some of the changes that are being made: "more courses on regulatory law, new clinics, ethics courses, and classes designed to give students more practical writing, negotiating, and research skills." I was interested to learn that a group of ten schools that have already begun to revise their course offerings plan to issue a report on curriculum reform next year, and to read that some schools are giving more emphasis to their joint-degree programs. Although at some firms hiring partners and recruiting directors welcome the changes to law school curricula, at other firms, the traditional training of summer clerks and new associates is still the norm. As one partner said, "'Regardless of what they have learned in law school, we'll assume that there's still a lot to be done and a lot of learning to take place after they [join] us.'" And a number of attorneys would like new associates to hone their research and writing skills, perhaps through clinics or other courses.

2 comments:

Julie said...

Marie, can you tell us what the ten named schools are? Thanks! jj

Marie S. Newman said...

The schools are not listed in the article (sorry--I forgot it requires registration), but the schools mentioned in the article are Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Washington and Lee, CUNY, and New Mexico. I have no idea if these are the schools who are preparing the report because the article is silent on this point.