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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.