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. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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