Some law schools now aiming to educate students as attorneys + entrepreneurs

Posted on 09-10-2014 by
Tags: change , Upgrading Your Skills , Law School Faculty , law students

According to an article by inc.com here are some ways different law schools are giving students a brighter future by making them into a versatile, tech-and-data competent lawyer with the hope they can find a promising career in niche law or by starting their own legal service.

The Law Laboratory
Reinvent Law Laboratory is a law accelerator that hopes to use technology and design to create an affordable law service for the masses. Co-founder and associate professor at Michigan State University Daniel Martin Katz says his goal is to have his students become “T-shaped” with a deep knowledge of law and broad knowledge of technology.

Meet the Tech Lawyer
Bill Mooz, visiting professor at University of Colorado law school created the school’s four-week Tech Lawyer Accelerator program. They are taught all the things that they may not have learned in law school but you will need to know to be efficient in today’s world. This program includes lectures from companies such as NetApp and Adobe. After the program ends the students work for a startup company for a semester.

Big Data Lawyer
The dean of Northwestern Law, Daniel Rodrgiuez, says he looks for professors who have experience in both technology and business. Rodriguez told the New York Times "Not to be too jargonistic, but big-data analytics have pervaded many aspects of the management world, and lawyers need to have some facility with that."

Comments


Lextalk Admin
Lextalk Admin
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 4:49 PM

Being able to understand just the basics of entrepreneurship and business helps in many aspects of law that one does not typically think about.

AQQ
AQQ
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 8:05 PM

.

legalspider
legalspider
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 8:08 PM

I agree with some of the points made in the article, and for a number of law students a firm background in business and entrepreneurship is vital. With that said, however, for those people like me who have no wish to enter the business world, or even litigate, that education is somewhat useless! I want to go into research or librarianship, so while I can appreciate the need for a business focus in many courses, I would say that it is not a good model for all.  

kate.casey
kate.casey
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 8:10 PM

It's not enough to just know the law. www.miis.edu/.../social-impact-learning

valerieanna
valerieanna
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 8:14 PM

Very true.  This article makes some great points.  We need to understand technology and how the law applies to it (or doesn't).  I believe quite a few laws will be archaic and we need to have a grasp of not just today's technology but the possibilities that lie ahead in order to create new laws with flexibility.

ctbaker
ctbaker
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 8:22 PM

The legal industry is in a fundamentally different place than it was a few years ago, with even more chaotic changes on the horizon.  Economic pressure coupled with technological innovation has increased attorney unemployment levels, leading to a shift in the law firm business models, and ultimately changes the expectations of legal clientele. Regardless of these global impacts, legal education has remained fundamentally unchanged.  The current state of the legal industry is in need for entrepreneurial attorneys, but law schools are currently ill-suited to provide such entrepreneurship training.  Regardless of their chosen career path, law students would benefit from an exposure to entrepreneurship education in law school.  

cschoonm
cschoonm
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 8:31 PM

While this can be beneficial to some people, not every attorney needs to be an entrepreneur.

Spnichols
Spnichols
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 8:39 PM

I think it is a great set of skills to have and will make any lawyer more well rounded. Being able to understand just the basics of entrepreneurship and business helps in many aspects of law that one does not typically think about. However I do agree with other commentators that not everyone will want or need these skills, depending on their area of law they are working in or pursing. Yet at the same time I believe that it would not hurt anyone to have this knowledge in their 'back pocket' just for their own interest or the off chance something happens and they find themselves in a situation where they need to help or answer questions about starting a business. Overall I think it is a wise and great move that law schools are starting to focus more on helping start-ups and providing learning and hands on experiences to create better and more prepared future lawyers.

umkclaw
umkclaw
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 8:57 PM

An understanding of business is a huge benefit for any lawyer. An even bigger benefit is understanding the evolving internet and technology out there and having the ability to use it to streamline your work making you more efficient.

Antoine
Antoine
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 9:02 PM

I do agree that a firm foundation in business is necessary because it helps to give a more well-rounded understanding of law and the policy behind it.

KatieHutchison
KatieHutchison
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 9:21 PM

It's interesting how the legal field and career is changing. I think an effective lawyer is well-rounded, and these skills will lend to that, even if you are not going into practice specifically.

Janelly
Janelly
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 9:24 PM

I think teaching entrepreneurship to attorneys is a good approach to dealing with a job market saturated with people with law degrees. Not only is this great for helping start-ups but also for attorneys who may want to do solo practice.

LinaX
LinaX
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 9:38 PM

I agree that this type of education would help people become more well-rounded lawyers instead of getting tunnel vision on very particularized areas.

Tonya2015
Tonya2015
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 9:48 PM

I believe it is definitely a good idea to implement the program. However, I believe students should be given the choice to take advantage of the program due to the fact some J.D. Students wish to work in other fields.

bjackson26
bjackson26
Posted on : 18 Sep 2014 10:30 PM

I agree that these could be helpful curricula, but should be optional - they're definitely not for everyone, and I can't imagine that very many lawyers have much trouble getting the hang of workplace technologies. You can learn tech on the job, law school is for learning the law!

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