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. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  2. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  3. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  4. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  5. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

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