Law schools and the making of good Lawyer

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Law schools and the making of good Lawyer

Postby Nevertaken646 » Thu May 02, 2013 9:47 pm

How much does a competive atmosphere Law school breed a great lawyer as oppose to a non-competive setting? Is this dependent on the interactions with the professor in the classroom or do they equal in rigor?

Thanks in advance

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Re: Law schools and the making of good Lawyer

Postby BeautifulSW » Fri May 03, 2013 10:36 am

No experience with Big (or even real Mid) Law here but I have spent a couple of decades in my State's courts so here's my two cents:

Law school has almost nothing to do with making you an "attorney" either way. You do learn some important stuff like how the law actually works. Boiled down, law school should give you a professional sense of what the law "should be" even before you do your research, maybe even before your jurisdiction has decided the question. Law school also teaches you how to locate and argue legal authority. These are fundamental lawyering skills.

But law school cannot teach you the practical side; how to relate to clients, witnesses, and opposing counsel, how to convince a Judge to do what you want, how to present a case to a jury. It takes awhile and some practice to develop these skills. Even if law professors themselves had these skills (and law schools prefer NOT to hire experienced lawyers for their academic faculty) there isn't time in a three-year J.D. program to give more than a taste of actual practice.

The J.D. could be expanded to four years like medical school and the last year devoted to supervised practice but law school is already much too expensive. I don't see anyone making that situation even worse.

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