My colleague, Mary Hoagland, pointed me to the "Roundtable on the Future of Lawyer Hiring, Development, and Advancement," sponsored by the National Association for Law Placement, Inc., where 19 "industry leaders" did the following, among other things:
- Expressed great interest in development of an apprenticeship model of lawyer training;
A closer look at the transcripts reveals that this idea was floated by Glom friend and legal industry guru, Bill Henderson:
The group also "[c]oncluded that increased competition will create new demands for lawyer training." Training by whom? Based on the transcripts, the group was of two minds about this. We get the obligatory reference to new associates "hitting the ground running," but lots more talk about the need for firms to invest in training. Like this:
And we circle back to apprenticeship:
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Links to weblogs that reference Another Update on Lawyer Skills Training:
1. Posted by Anonymous on July 1, 2009 @ 11:00 | Permalink
In reference to your first post on this matter, I think it would be foolhardy to eliminate legal writing programs altogether. After two years of law school, I find that the only class remotely prepared me for work in a firm was my legal writing class.
It seems to me that law schools in general churn out over-theoried and pratical experience-starved students year after year, ill-prepared to face the practice of law. The lack of hands-on experience is astounding. Learning policy in a vacuum is all well and good, I suppose and not inherently harmful, but does little to promote an actual understanding and acuity at legal practice.
Elements of an apprenticeship are appealing, but I wonder how you would have that implemented. Classroom environments, with sometimes in excess of ninety students, makes individual learning a challenge. Organizing collaboration ultimately breaks down.
Perhaps law school should be stuctured more like medical, with both in class lectures coupled with practicuums. I think we should encourage more clinics, more opportunities to see attorneys and judges at work. More opportunities for legal writing are also essential, as many students will go into their first jobs having only written law review type pieces.
Emphasis on increased classroom instruction will not alone solve the problems that you note.