Should American Law Schools Continue to Graduate Lawyers Whom Clients Consider Worthless?
15 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2011 Last revised: 17 Dec 2012
Date Written: 2011
At a recent national conference on legal education, the associate general counsel of one of America’s largest corporations said that his company no longer allows first or second year associates to work on their matters “because they’re worthless.” At one time many law schools were comfortable in relying on large firms to turn their graduates into lawyers worthy to represent clients, but the famous “Cravath” system for such training has been in decline and is now severely threatened by the current economic crisis in law practice. The article contrasts the American approach to training lawyers to that in place in other major jurisdictions related to the common law tradition, with a particular focus on Scotland. The article then concludes with an examination of a ground-breaking experiment at the University of New Hampshire Law School, where students who complete a special two year honors program designed to make them “client-ready” are being admitted to practice upon graduation without taking a conventional bar examination.
Keywords: legal education, law schools, education, legal training, new lawyers, legal education reform, Scotland, University of New Hampshire
JEL Classification: K00, K19, K30, K39, Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation