It has often been said that law schools teach you to think like a lawyer. However, that is no longer enough for the changing legal field. In this New York Time article the author explores what is wrong with the way lawyers are being taught today. Looking at the problem from both the law schools perspective and the firms that hire the graduates gives a unique feel to the article. Law firms want graduates that can practice law, but law schools want to be able to attract top tier teachers. Balancing both the needs of the schools and the firms seems to be causing a great rift and the students are the ones fall into that rift.
An article in Tech Crunch titled, “Peter Thiel: We’re in a Bubble and It’s Not the Internet. It’s Higher Education”, discusses PayPal co-founder, Thiel and his opinion on the education system in the United States.
Thiel is a graduate from Stanford, who believes that ivy league schools do not produce top students, contrary to popular belief. Instead, ivy league schools utilize scarcity and status to create a ‘bubble’ of security. If you can get into the bubble, you will be safe. Thiel believes that the best way to pop this bubble is to poke a hole in it. He is doing so by giving 20 students the opportunity to drop out of school and start their own companies with $100,000, to show that success does not necessarily come from getting the best education that you can.
An article posted in the Denver Business Journal titled, “CU’s New Dean: Law School is Still a Good Buy” discusses the benefits of going to law school, and how Dean Weiser plans on assisting students obtain employment in the declining job market.
Dean Weiser is the newly implemented dean at the University of Colorado Law School. His plan for the law school: making law school more like a business school. With the decreasing job market, less and less law students are obtaining employment at the big law firms. What is being overlooked is that a law degree has a variety of means to opening doors to employment, not just to employment at big law firms. By connecting students with corporations and professionals, students will get assistance in launching their careers in other areas of law, not simply at the big law firms. The University of Denver Law School feels that it needs to train students in a broader application of the law so that students will be able to obtain employment beyond the limited big law firms.
To bridge the educational gap between law school graduates and the actual practice of law, the authors introduce the concept of the law school firm. “The concept calls for law schools to establish affiliated law firms. The affiliation would provide opportunities for students, faculty, and attorneys to collaborate and share resources to teach, research, write, serve clients, and influence the development of law and policy.” The paper suggests that funding is the root problem behind whether law schools graduate “practice ready” attorneys and argues that the law school firm resolves this problem by reducing transaction costs inherent in training new attorneys.
Through simulation, law students at American University in Washington, D.C. and at Dundee University in Scotland learn to become transactional lawyers. Under the guidance of professors using a semester-long simulation exercise students learn to negotiate, structure, and arrive at an international business agreement. Communication approaches, both traditional and technological, such as videoconferencing and teleconferencing, are incorporated into the instruction which is done in “real time.” The students draw on most of the business law curriculum as they work in teams to analyze and negotiate.
An article titled, “Why Law School Is for Everyone”, discusses the benefits of law school and the importance of lawyers.
The article centers on the idea that law school is for everyone. Everyone can find a legal job of interest because lawyers cover such a broad amount of legal areas. Law school teaches students discipline, how to think rationally, analyze, and in today’s society, how to be more than just a lawyer. Today, a legal education is being blended with a skill, such as lawyer-doctor and lawyer-engineer, due to the beneficial nature of how lawyers think.
Lawyers are the center of our society, as it promotes leadership, critical thinking, an acceptance for different views, and a mutual commitment to resolving disputes. Becoming a lawyer has a purpose in any field of society, even if you decide to open a restaurant. Legal education is the center of society, and can be used to pursue any goals and future aspirations of employment.
Education reform is most often lead by politicians with little experience in educational administration. The author of the article suggests that instead of trying to reform how teachers are evaluated as a means of reforming the way they teach the leaders should use business models to guide their reforms. The author specifically suggests using Google’s Top 10 Golden Rule and applying them to education. This way of looking at education reform in the authors view would be both interesting and innovative.
Find the full information here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-wolpertgawron/post_1510_b_803488.html
By Alexandra Levit, Author of “They Don’t Teach Corporate in College”
The business world is another animal entirely: Politically motivated and fraught with nonsensical change, it’s not a natural fit for ambitious graduates who leave school expecting results from a logical combination of education and effort. Suddenly, the tenets of success we’ve followed since kindergarten don’t apply, because getting ahead in the business world often has nothing to do with intelligence or exceeding a set of defined expectations. Since they don’t teach corporate in college, this article provides six tips to help you win at the business world’s game.
Dee DePass. Grant Will Aid Manufacturing Training: Employers And Educators In Northwestern Minnesota Will Train Hundreds Of Workers In Skills Business Need, Star Tribune, May 22, 2008, at D2.
MN officials gave $352,993, as part of a Job Skills Partnership Grant, for a customized program called Manufacturing First that will train hundreds of manufacturing employees in northwestern MN over the next three years. The purpose of the program is to provide “stronger partnerships and better alignment of resources between education and manufacturing businesses [to] strengthen the industry in the long term.” The manufacturing sector has taken “hard-hits” due to outsourcing, layoffs, and recessions. The goal of the new program is to offer technical, financial, and job training resources to “link educational institutions to businesses with specific training needs.” Pine Technical College and employees from the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership will lead the initiative.