April 21, 2010
Minding Our Own Business: Whom should we be admitting?
Posted by Usha Rodrigues

I'm an entrepreneurship fan myself, yet I admit I share some of Gordon's skepticism on the front of using entrepreneurship as a law school admissions criterion.  Christine hypothesizes that law schools "encourage the risk-averse."  I'd say it stronger than that: law schools attract the risk averse.  Traditional legal education reinforces risk aversion by training lawyers to spot problems without providing solutions.  This is why businesspeople don't like lawyers.  Targeting entrepreneurs to come to law school sounds to me like the inverse of that apocryphal Sinclair Lewis story.  Good entrepreneurs are already out there entrepreneuring.

Larry suggests giving a lot of extra points to applicants who have started, or at least worked in, a business, or shown equivalent initiative.  But these to me are two very different categories.  Those who start a business or invent something are true entrepreneurs--but they seem to me relatively unlikely to want to go to law school to learn to be business lawyers.They're already out there doing their entrepreneurial thing.  On the other hand, I heartily agree with favoring applicants from the second category.  Students who have worked, in a business setting, teaching ESL--honestly doing anything at all--bring a lot to the table in terms of maturity and "client-readiness," simply by virtue of having worked in the real world.

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