Perfect law school

September 30, 2009
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We recently posed the question “What’s the best way for people to become attorneys?” Your choices were: at law school as it is now, through apprenticeships like back in the day, and a hybrid of law school with real-life experience. Not surprisingly, nearly 80 percent picked the hybrid option. Only 8 percent thought it’d be best to go back to the time when you worked with an attorney to gain the skills instead of attending school.

During the past few decades, college has been pushed and promoted as the best option to get ahead in life. Many jobs now require a college education or higher learning beyond high school. So off to college we went, but while we learned more information, and hopefully became smarter, we still weren’t quite prepared for working in the real world. We didn’t learn how to apply what we learned to our job.

This happens to a lot of college majors – you’re taught the fundamentals of your field, what it means to be a lawyer, journalist, business owner – but unless you manage to score internships or work experience in your field, that’s all you learn in college.

That’s a complaint many partners and bosses have: they get these students fresh out of school, eager to learn, but unable to actually do their job. If they’re lucky, the new graduates will get a mentor at work or a very patient partner to help walk them through the job until they learn the ropes.

A hybrid system of learning in law school would help solve this problem. You’d get the best of both worlds – learn the fundamentals, but also how to apply them. Working as a summer associate helps, but not everyone scores those positions. Even if they do, more practical experience can’t hurt, right?

How would you like to see law schools prepare students for life as an attorney? What are they getting right and what should they improve upon?
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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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