Adjust and adapt. It is a survival tactic that’s been around since life itself. Along with critical thought and opposable thumbs, adaptation is among the abilities that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. It is also what is currently separating some law schools from others.
In an unstable climate for legal education, law schools have been adapting by incorporating more business practice content into the curriculum. Cornell University provides a workshop called Business Concepts for Lawyers. The workshop lasts a few days and serves as a basic business training with a law twist. The University of Maryland maintains a business law degree tract that allows students to basically major in business law. The University of Colorado offers a four-week summer program called the Tech Lawyer Accelerator that places current students in internships at the end of the program to learn how to use technology efficiently in the legal profession.
Brooklyn Law School is the most recent school to jump on the business-focused legal education bandwagon. In January, 170 Brooklyn Law students came to campus before semester started for a three-day “boot camp” on accounting principles. If law school graduates lack anything, it is often the ability to understand how businesses work. These types of intensive workshops are geared towards producing lawyers who can understand and run a business.
To produce this workshop, Brooklyn Law teamed up with Deloitte Financial Advisory Services to develop a program focused on everything new attorneys at top law firms need to understand business lingo and decisions.
According to Lynn Stout, a professor at Cornell University Law School, times are changing for what is expected out of recent law school graduates. “You simply can’t be a lawyer at a large firm without grounding in business language and business institutions,” she told The New York Times. “Clients are less patient about paying large bills for associates who are not prepared to add value to a firm’s legal work.”
Source: The New York Times
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