/ March 17, 2008

Client Interaction and Billable Hours … The New Law School Curriculum?

For years, many practicing lawyers have complained that recent law school graduates were a blank slate — showing up for work with no real education in either the practice or the business of law. At least one school has a response.

Washington and Lee School of Law has announced a sweeping overhaul of their curriculum which will replace all academic classes with experimental learning during students third year. Some of the revisions include teaching students billable hours, client interaction and other non standard courses. This new academic plan will be launched within three to four years and will not be in the curriculum for current students.

Is replacing the academic law curriculum with more practical or applied lessons a move in the right directions for last year law students? Let us know, in the comments.

2 Responses

  1. Andrew Flusche said...

    I’m definitely in favor of practical classes at law school. But should we really focus any time on billable hours?

    Lesson 1: Track every second of your day.
    Lesson 2: Repeat every day for the rest of your career.

    At least add in alternative fee arrangements, like contingent fees and flat fees. Also, let’s teach budding lawyers the difference between a “retainer” and an “advance.”

  2. Bob Yeggy said...

    There was a time when the legal profession viewed the teaching and development of young attorneys as part of its responsibility to the profession.

    To me, this represents just one more nail in the mentoring coffin.