Reality’s knocking

Sloan, Karen. “Reality’s knocking,” The National Law Journal, September 7, 2009, http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202433612463&Realitys_knocking&slreturn=1&hbxlogin=1.

In response to a challenging job market, many law schools are adjusting their academic programs to include more practical experiences in an effort to make their graduates more marketable to employers. A 2007 report by the Carnegie Foundation, Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law, concluded that law schools do not do a good enough job developing professional competence and identity among their students. With law firms not able to pay top-dollar salaries to new associates with little or no legal experience, the burden of educating young lawyers as to the practical aspects of being an attorney are being shifted from the law firms to law schools as employers seek graduates more adequately prepared to practice right out of law school. Law schools are shifting the emphasis of their curriculum away from traditional legal theory in favor of legal simulations, business proficiency, and legal writing. The true test of the effectiveness of this changing of curriculums will be the reaction of employers; if they begin hiring more graduates from a particular law school because they are known to be better prepared upon graduation, more law schools will begin shifting their curriculum accordingly.

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