A common concern is routinely heard in the bar, from recently graduated law students and seasoned practitioners alike: “They don’t teach you how to actually be a lawyer in law school.”
While law schools increasingly focus their efforts on addressing this widespread concern, creating new curriculum or developing externship programs, the IndyBar’s Lawyers Helping Lawyers Task Force has taken a proactive approach to provide guidance and training to newer attorneys with the creation of the Attorney Apprentice Program. The program will also be available to those looking to expand their practice.
“In the current economic climate, many attorneys have been unable to gain necessary experience or find long-term employment. Many law firms also lack the time and resources to provide in-depth skills training to their attorneys,” says Rebecca Geyer, a member of the Lawyers Helping Lawyers Task Force. “The Attorney Apprentice Program is designed to bridge this gap by providing substantive knowledge and practical experience to new and less experienced attorneys to accelerate the learning curve and personal growth of participants.”
The program features a core curriculum aimed at developing attorney business and marketing skills as well as substantive programming in a legal track of the participant’s choice–Civil Litigation, Transactional Practice, or Criminal Practice and Procedure. Participants will receive a certificate of achievement upon completion of the program.
Participants in the program will select their preferred track, each of which will feature four separate sessions. These sessions each include a practice component incorporating the tell/show/do model, giving participants the opportunity to apply their newly-acquired knowledge on case studies, sample documents, and more.
Following the conclusion of the substantive tracks, participants will gather together for the four-hour core curriculum session, which is dedicated to business development and practice management, meant to help participants understand the business side of the legal profession.
General continuing legal education credit will be available for the substantive sessions, with the core curriculum wrap-up session offering non-legal subject matter credit.
The Attorney Apprentice Program will kick off in March, with the substantive tracks held weekly through early April. Visit www.indybar.org for more information on the program, including online registration.•