Why Life Experience Between College and Law School Matters

From the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System:

For years, there is one piece of advice I give prospective law students that hasn’t changed: take time off before you go to law school. Work, travel, volunteer. Do something that isn’t school. Experience the world, whatever that means to you.

So it didn’t surprise me when lawyers responding to our Foundations for Practice survey indicated that “life experience between college and law school” was helpful in identifying that a new lawyer has the foundations (characteristics, professional competencies, and legal skills) that they believe are important. Almost 30 percent said “life experience between college and law school” was “very helpful”; another 49 percent said it was “helpful.”

Yet, we know that far too many law students do not take time between college and law school. I didn’t—and I wish I had. We even refer to students who take just a couple years off as “non-traditional.”

This could change, if Harvard Law School has anything to say about it. In a move to entice students to gain work experience before they enter law school, HLS announced it is expanding a pilot program for Harvard juniors to juniors from any college. The program lets law school applicants defer admission to the law school for two years, which “allows students to go and do something they love, and not to feel they have to build their résumé,” Jessica L. Soban, HLS’s Associate Dean for Admissions and Strategic Initiatives, told the New York Times.

While it’s great that Harvard wants its students to have the opportunity to do something they love, Harvard is getting a lot out of this deal as well. The same survey respondents who valued “life experience between college and law school” told us that the foundations they most needed in new lawyers were, predominantly, characteristics and professional competencies. They were things like conscientiousness, common sense, maturity, working collaboratively in a team, and exhibiting tact and diplomacy (see the full list here). They were things that may be best developed through experiences like those that prospective Harvard Law Students will now seek out before starting law school.

By encouraging applicants to engage in activities that will help them develop these key characteristics and competencies before they ever even come to law school, Harvard is ensuring that its graduates have yet another leg up. Well played, Harvard. Well played.

Read full article at iaals.du.edu

Young lawyers seek to shake up legal profession with mobile apps

From the Boston Globe:

Young lawyers seek to shake up legal profession with mobile appsWilliam Palin is a 32-year-old lawyer who passed the bar exam in 2013. But it didn’t take him long to wonder why, when the rest of the world is increasingly conducting business on cellphones and tablets, the legal profession is so tied to paper, desktop computers, and e-mailed Microsoft Word documents.

So as a child of the digital age, he decided to act, joining a growing group of young, tech-savvy lawyers dedicated to developing technology to deliver legal services more efficiently.

Legal Hackers hopes to bridge that generational divide — and the group seems to be making progress. In August, at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting, one panel was titled “Cracking the Code: Everything You Wanted to Know About Coding, Open Data & More But Were Afraid to Ask.”

‘If lawyers want to be competitive, they have to learn a new skill set and that is what the Suffolk program provides its students.’

The tech industry, meanwhile, is eager to see lawyers on board.

 

As for Palin, his PaperHealth app won the American Bar Association’s Hackcess to Justice Legal Hackathon, held at Suffolk last summer. It’s available in the app store.

How Lawyers Use Evernote

From Rocket Matters Legal Productivity website:

Evernote is more than a note-taking application. We use it to store ideas, recordings, projects, tasks, images…The list is as comprehensive as we want it to be. Evernote allows us to offload our brain and organize our lives.

And how do lawyers use Evernote? I asked a few Evernote-loving lawyers. Here are their stories.

See also: A Lawyer’s Guide to Evernote E-Book

‘I Consider Law School A Waste Of My Life And An Extraordinary Waste Of Money’

‘I Consider Law School A Waste Of My Life And An Extraordinary Waste Of Money\'Business Insider interviewed a 28-year-old lawyer with deep regrets about his decision to go to law school. They asked him the following questions:

  1. Why did you decide to go to law school?
  2. What kind of job were you hoping to get?
  3. What kind of job did you end up getting?
  4. Roughly how much do you make?
  5. Do you enjoy it at all?
  6. Do you think your law school misled you about your job prospects? How?
  7. How much is your monthly student loan payment?
  8. Is it hard to get by? What kind of sacrifices have you had to make?
  9. What kind of advice would you have for somebody who’s applying to law school?
  10. Did you think you’d end up making more money since you went to a top 20 school?
  11. If you hadn’t gone to law school, what career path would you have pursued?
  12. Is there any aspect of the law school bubble that you think is inaccurately portrayed in the media?
  13. Did you enjoy the law school experience, in spite of the debt you incurred?

Of course, the experience of this person is only that of a single person. I know many who are happy with their choice of careers and love what they do. But I do know a disturbing number of lawyers who think like the one in this article:

I consider law school a waste of my life and an extraordinary waste of money. I feel like I was duped and tricked. At the end of the day, it’s my own fault for being a sucker and I learned an extremely hard lesson. Because I went to law school, I don’t see myself having a family, earning a comfortable wage, or having an enjoyable lifestyle. I wouldn’t wish my law school experience on my enemy.

London Law Lectures – news

Jurisprudence 2017 – the examinationLondon Law Lectures has posted an updated lecture on Resulting Trusts:

RESULTING TRUSTS RECORDING UPDATED
In Patel v Mirza (2017), the Supreme Court conducted an extensive review of the case law on restitution and the illegality defence, as well as the rationale underlying the Tinsley principle and decided that it was time for Tinsley to be overruled.

The recorded lecture on resulting trusts has been updated with an analysis of the decision.

Top barrister takes to Twitter to reveal what law schools don’t (but really should) teach their students

Gordon Exall, a civil law specialist at Leeds’ Zenith Chambers and London-based set  Hardwicke, has published a series of tweets describing what “they don’t teach you in law school.” Here are the first few:

Any piece of technology upon which you rely will fail on the evening before you have to get up early to travel far for a case #lawschool

— Gordon Exall (@CivilLitTweet) January 13, 2017

 

Get used to being the only one on the train platform #lawschoolpic.twitter.com/SvcTyIWH1T

— Gordon Exall (@CivilLitTweet) January 13, 2017

 

When you travel miles & get to court on time your case will then inevitably be delayed for several hours #lawschool

— Gordon Exall (@CivilLitTweet) January 13, 2017

 

However if you are 2 minutes late the court will inevitably be running on time #lawschool

— Gordon Exall (@CivilLitTweet) January 13, 2017

Of course, other Tweeters have joined in the fun. Check out or follow @CivilLitTweet and #lwschool for more.

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