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Friday, August 5, 2011

New York State Bar Prez Says Law Students Need Better Training

New York State Bar Prez Says Law Students Need Better Training

The debate about whether law schools should focus more on preparing their charges to actually practice law, rather than to merely think like lawyers, continues to rage.
At an American Bar Association meeting in Toronto, the New York State Bar Associationpresented the ABA with a resolution, urging the ABA to emphasize the importance of teaching practice skills to law students, according to this report in the New York Law Journal. (HT:  ABA Journal.)
The New York bar is asking the national bar to evaluate its legal education standards with a view toward “enhancing clinical work and supervised activities such as meeting with clients inside and outside the clinical setting and in court,” according to the NYLJ.
“Legal education should have more of an emphasis on making sure graduates are ready to practice law,” New York State Bar President Vincent E. Doyle III told the NYLJ. “It is something that has been de-emphasized, and it shows. Our research and our own experience show that graduates are less prepared to practice law.”
Here’s a WSJ report last month by our own Patrick Lee about how some law schools are answering the call to emphasize the practical over the theoretical.
Richard A. Matasar, dean and president of New York Law School, agrees with the view that graduates need to be more practice ready, the New York Law Journal reports.
“There is going to be a push toward more practice readiness at most law schools,” he said. “It is driven by the market. We need to send our graduates out in a way that makes them more effective, and the schools recognize that.”

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