What Do Legal Employers Want to See in New Graduates?: Using Focus Groups to Find Out
49 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2013 Last revised: 14 Dec 2017
Date Written: November 21, 2013
What do legal employers expect from new law school graduates? What skills and competencies do employers value most? With the slow legal hiring market and the pressure on law schools to produce graduates with adequate skills to enter law practice, these are burning questions at law schools today. We went directly to typical employers of our law school’s graduates to find the answers. This Article describes the original research of a Bar Outreach Project formed by three legal research and writing professors at the University of Dayton School of Law. We conducted formal focus groups with legal employers and used that data to support updates and revisions to our legal writing courses. This Article describes the methodology of using focus groups for research, discusses the results of our conversations with employers, and offers recommendations for updating legal writing instruction to reflect employer preferences.
Keywords: graduates, employers, skills, professionalism, legal writing, research, focus groups
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