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Leslie Rose

With no research training, what do you propose students will be doing in their summer jobs after the first year? Law firms no longer have the resources to train students (or new attorneys) and have expressed their lack of interest in doing so.

Derek Tokaz

It's not as much research training, not zero research training.

The professional responsibility segment would involve a great deal of research, about the same as a typical lawyering class, but focusing on professional responsibility, rather than a mixed bag of research topics. Also, the earlier segments, where you learn how to form arguments, isn't exactly useless in a law firm setting.

Current lawyering classes (assuming mine wasn't too far from the norm) focus on skills that a first summer student won't be using, such as oral arguments, mediation, negotiation, witness questioning, and client counseling.

The professional responsibility segment of the LEPR class would have enough opportunity to teach students how to use Lexis and West, and how to structure a memo or brief.

You are right that firms (and clients) are less willing to train students. But, that makes this plan even better. Your second summer job is far more important than first summer. With this plan, you're getting most of your skills training in the second year, when you're better able to learn from the class (less stress=more focus), and without a year to forget what you've learned.


"With no research training, what do you propose students will be doing in their summer jobs after the first year?"

Are you kidding? You call the westlaw course + two hours of instruction on researching cases "training?"

First of all, Paralegals learn that level of research ability their first day on the job. Students too are writing memos two weeks into the start of their first year.

Second of all the entirety of law school is of no value to firms. I don't hear law firms saying, "Wow I'm glad law school taught these kids so we don't have to." They have to train their associates from scratch.

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Current lawyering classes (assuming mine wasn't too far from the norm) focus on skills that a first summer student won't be using, such as oral arguments, mediation, negotiation, witness questioning, and client counseling.


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Georgetown is currently ofrnfieg some sort of alternative cirriculum in which a great deal of time is spent on legal theory, learning about crits and realists and formalist and whatnot. Obviously I don't go to Georgetown, or I could give you some real information about it.I think it's a little odd, though, that you're proposing to both delay the substantive courss and shorten the program. When will any learning get done?


And your second point is aeddrssed at my school; all my classes have student TA's, and although the quality certainly varies, most are quite helpful. My torts TAs are *excellent*. They hold regular office hours, review sessions, and have helped with practice exams as well.


Yeah, my problem is that my pasison is leisure and my dream job is French fonctionnaire. Of course now young people in Europe can't count on having jobs with 35-hour work weeks, six weeks holiday, paid healthcare, spa cures and retirement at age 55. But for the generation that got to live like that it was a pretty sweet deal. I guess we were just born too late.

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About the Blog

  • Rising tuition. Misleading employment statistics. Inadequate skills training. Law schools have faced plenty of criticism for their role in the struggles of young lawyers today. The National Law Journal has assembled a panel of legal educators and law graduates to discuss whether law schools are facing a crisis, and how they should respond to their mounting problems.

Law School Review Contributors

  • Brian Tamanaha
    A professor at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law who writes about law schools on the blog Balkinization
  • Erwin Chemerinsky
    Founding dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law
  • John F. O’Brien
    Dean of the New England Law, Boston and chairman of the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
  • Kyle McEntee
    A 2011 graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School and the executive director of Law School Transparency, a nonprofit group advocating for legal education reform
  • Lucille Jewel
    Professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School who has written about the problems faced by recent law school graduates
  • Michael A. Olivas
    A professor at the University of Houston Law Center and the current president of the Association of American Law Schools
  • William Henderson
    Professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law—Bloomington who studies the legal profession

Law School Review: Further Reading