The Best Schools for Practical Training

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The Best Schools for Practical Training

 

“I don’t have time to hold your hand!”

You’d expect that comment from General Patton (or Don Draper). If you’re lucky enough to land a job, you’ll probably hear that warning on your first day. If it was hard getting in the door… just imagine what you’ll need to do to stay there!

With a glut of grads longing for labor, you need to set yourself apart. And being a finished product who’s ready to practice (and handle billable) does just that. As a result, law schools are beefing up their experiential learning courses to produce seasoned lawyers with shorter learning curves. These grads haven’t just argued in front of moot court. They’ve worked with real clients, handling cases start-to-finish. They know more than just codes and precedents. They know how to file, research, build cases, and negotiate, too.

Just because a law school is ranked in U.S. News’ Top 20 doesn’t mean that its students can hit the ground running. In fact, only four schools—Yale, Duke, Washington University, and California-Berkeley—received B grades or higher from National Jurist on their experiential education programs.

Last month, National Jurist released its grades for its “Best Schools for Practical Training.” Here, schools were rated on three criteria:  Faculty-supervised clinical field placement, externships, and simulation courses. Using data derived from the American Bar Association, National Jurist measured the number (and percentage) of students enrolled in these opportunities. However, it also offered bonus points to unique learning platforms, such as pro bono graduation requirements.

Here is a list of the top schools for practical training, according to National Jurist. Please note that all eleven schools were given an A+ grade:

SchoolSimulation RateClinical RatioExternship Ratio
University of St. Thomas (MN)

1.24

0.34

1.72

Northeastern

0.64

0.20

1.46

University of Wisconsin

1.05

0.75

0.44

Brigham Young

1.40

0.39

0.74

University of New Hampshire

2.25

0.33

0.48

Brooklyn Law

1.10

0.38

0.87

Pepperdine

2.67

0.17

0.49

University of Maryland

1.82

0.46

0.35

Baylor University

2.89

0.02

0.36

Loyola (Chicago)

2.13

0.27

0.32

Pacific (McGeorge)

1.38

0.32

0.45

 

National Jurist only publicized grades of B or higher. Here is how other notable law schools performed, according to this rubric:

SchoolSimulation RateClinical RatioExternship Ratio

Grade

Yale University

0.12

0.86

0.07

A-

University of California-Berkeley

1.2

0.25

0.18

B

Washington University (MO)

1.68

0.19

0.31

A-

Boston University

0.76

0.46

0.39

A

Duke University

1.37

0.31

0.13

B+

Emory University

1.54

0.12

0.38

B+

Source: National Jurist

For a listing of schools that earned grades between A+ and B, click on the link below.

Source: National Jurist