Law schools are currently offering their students the curriculum and education that provides students with the foundation and theoretical base needed to pass the bar. However, are these schools missing a chance to explore the significant changes roiling the legal industry — a tighter job market, emerging technologies and the increasing use of legal process outsourcing — and train students to be better, more advanced and savvy lawyers?
In a new white paper, entitled, “Six Ways Law Schools Can Make Students More Practice Ready” by Katie Walter, a director in Thomson Reuters’ Government and Academic
areas including law school and government markets, demonstrates that by turning today’s legal industry pressures into opportunities for learning, law schools can better prepare law students to be the lawyers of tomorrow.
To help identify the greatest opportunities, Thomson Reuters conducted 30
in-depth interviews with third-year law students, law firm hiring managers and new
attorneys; analyzed the results and identified six ways law schools may be able to
improve curriculum to best prepare law students for today’s practice environment.
Exposing students to the range of legal technologies used in practice — beyond research tools — also translates to less on-the-job training for new associates. Incorporating legal technology into relevant courses, such as document management or document assembly tools in a drafting class,
would make for a smoother transition from third-year law student to new hire.
Law schools can make the most of these opportunities to best position new grads to make an impact from day one. Better preparing law students will involve a combination of programs, curriculum enhancements and outside partnerships that embed technology, legal processes, client management, the business of law and transactional law throughout the law school experience.