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Bridging the Gap between Law School and Law Practice

63 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2015 Last revised: 29 Jun 2015

Alexa Z. Chew

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law

Katie Rose Guest Pryal

Independent

Date Written: January 1, 2015

Abstract

This paper and attendant presentation materials first present research findings from the New Legal Writers Survey, an IRB-approved empirical study of legal employers' expectations of law students and new lawyers. The anonymous survey sought employer opinions in three major areas: (1) hiring lawyers’ expectations regarding writing samples that accompany job applications; (2) supervisors’ expectations about the legal document types (i.e., genres) that new lawyers write; and (3) the habits of attorneys who supervise new lawyers. This paper focuses on (1) the types of documents that employers expected law students and recent graduates to be able to write proficiently with minimal supervision, and (2) the skills that supervisors believed were essential for law students and recent graduates to possess when they walk through the door to practice law. After presenting findings, we suggest teaching and supervision strategies to help improve the practice-readiness of new law students.

Keywords: practice-ready; empirical research; legal writing; law practice; mentoring; supervision; lawyers; legal education

Suggested Citation

Chew, Alexa Z. and Pryal, Katie Rose Guest, Bridging the Gap between Law School and Law Practice (January 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2575185 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2575185

Alexa Z. Chew (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States

Katie Rose Guest Pryal

Independent ( email )

United States

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