Law School Training: Bridging the Gap between Legal Education and the Practice of Law

33 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2013

See all articles by Neil Joel Dilloff

Neil Joel Dilloff

University of Baltimore - School of Law; UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF LAW

Date Written: 2013


Over the past several years, there has been a plethora of articles by law school administrators, faculty members, legal foundations, practicing lawyers, judges, various commentators, and national, state, and city bar associations about the perceived gap between what currently is being taught in the nation's law schools and what various practicing members of the legal profession believe needs to be taught. In addition, law schools have conducted various symposia in which law school administrators, faculty, and practitioners have met and discussed ways to improve law school curricula so that what a student learns is immediately useful to the student, and to his or her employer, when the student enters the workplace.

The backdrop for the renewed attention to making legal education more practical has been the dismal job market for lawyers, which is now entering its fifth year. Law graduates are scrambling for jobs in a buyer's market. Employers are looking for applicants who have the training, legal maturity, and experience to become instant contributors to the productivity of the firm, corporation, or agency. While few employers expect recent law graduates to be able to meet job demands without some acclimation and on-the-job training, many employers no longer have the time, will, or finances to dedicate to training new lawyers. Accordingly, those law schools that are able to turn out "finished" work-ready graduates will move to the head of the pack, and their graduates will have a leg up in this uncertain job market. This Article will explore ways for law schools to accomplish this mission.

Keywords: law schools, legal education, law students, legal training, legal profession, legal practitoners, law school administrators, law school curricula, legal employment, legal job market

JEL Classification: I21, I29, K19, K39, L89

Suggested Citation

Dilloff, Neil Joel, Law School Training: Bridging the Gap between Legal Education and the Practice of Law (2013). Stanford Law & Policy Review, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2013, pp. 425-456; University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN:

Neil Joel Dilloff (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States


United States

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