According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, some law schools are beginning to replace doctrinal courses with classes that teach more practical skills.
New York Law School, for example, has hired 15 new faculty members over the past 2 years to teach skills such as negotiation, counseling, and fact investigation, while Washington and Lee has rebuilt its 3L curriculum, replacing lectures and seminars with case-based simulations run by practicing lawyers. Even Harvard Law School launched a problem-solving class for 1L’s last year, and Stanford is thinking of making a full-time clinical course a graduation requirement.
The shift comes as a result of law firms whose clients are unwilling, in this economy, to pay for the work of first-year associates who are not up to speed.
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