Law schools beginning to offer more practical skills training

Interesting article from the National Law Journal on a variety of new offerings at law schools to increase the marketability of their grads.  Certainly something to keep in mind as you are deciding which schools to apply to.

Graduates face stiff competition for law firm positions, and clients are balking at footing the bill to train new attorneys. Consequently, law school leaders consider it more important than ever to send students into the profession armed with practical skills, not just extensive knowledge of case law and legal theory. More law schools are modifying coursework and adding practical classes to help students develop the skills past graduates have had the luxury of learning on the job. In that vein, a growing number of law schools are emphasizing teamwork, leadership, professional judgment and the ability to view issues from the clients’ perspective.

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It just gets uglier

From today’s New York Times, Downturn Dims Prospects Even at Top Law Schools.

This fall, law students are competing for half as many openings at big firms as they were last year in what is shaping up to be the most wrenching job search season in over 50 years.

There’s not much I can add to that, but you really should read the entire article.  Law school is an investment on the order of $100,000 - $150,000.  You need to scrutinize carefully what kind of return that investment is likely to yield, at this particular moment in history.  As this article makes clear, the law world is changing dramatically over the next few years, and while it’s anybody’s guess what it will eventually look like, it’s clear that the biggest law firms are very likely to become a lot smaller.  The most direct... read more »

The future of the legal job market

Prof. Brian Leiter of the University of Chicago Law School is one of the foremost observers and commentators on law schools.  His blog is worth following for a number of reasons, but this post in particular speculates on the future of the big law firm world.  In the comments, you’ll note the observations of one of the foremost commentators on the law firm world, Prof. William Henderson of the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University Bloomington.  He predicts a permanent restructuring of the large law firms, and a concomitant rise in fortunes for regional firms. This is good news for students headed to the regional law schools that fill the regional firms.


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And now for something completely different

Well, not so much.  Another view of just how big impact an impact the economy is having on Law World.  Only this one encourages (hopes for?) a phoenix to rise from the ashes.

The silver lining, if there is one, is that the legal world may be inspired to draw blueprints for the 21st century.

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Combating Violence with Law—UMass Lawyer-Alumni event

Combating Violence with Law—

A Talk with UMass Alumni Attorney Sharon Stapel

Friday, April 3rd at 1:00 pm

620 Thompson

Sharon Stapel (Psych ‘91, CUNY Law ‘98) has spent her 20-year career working to end violence against women and members of the LGBT community.  During and after college, she was a dedicated advocate for survivors of domestic violence, from Northampton to South Africa. After graduating from CUNY Law in 1998, Sharon created the first Domestic Violence Project at the Legal Aid Society of New York, and later headed a similar project at South Brooklyn Legal Services.


In July 2008, Sharon became the Executive Director of New York’s Anti-Violence Project, which serves New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected communities.


Co-sponsored with the Stonewall Center and the Everywoman’s Center

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