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Law firms say they want ‘practice ready’ grads—but who are they actually hiring?

Jun 21, 2013, 01:30 pm CDT


The "practice ready" argument is the most bogus of all the silly blog arguments produced by the recession. The concept is incoherent as a unitary category (there are many kinds of practice and many levels of readiness), impossible to achieve in schooling (it confuses education with socialization), and a smoke-and-mirrors move by the new normal crowd to substitute language for ideas and evidence. The assumption that a clinical experience prepares a law graduate to do actual legal work is as preposterous as the assumption that passing a driving test makes a person a good driver. A person with any sense would stay out of the way of both.

By Pushkin on 2013 06 21, 4:11 pm CDT

Pushkin is right. 'Practice ready' means nothing because it is not defined. Further, it usually results from whining of older attorneys who complain that new lawyers "don't know how to practice anymore." Which is especially amusing since neither did said old lawyers when they were new.

The new normal crowd and the whiners who graduated and suddenly found out they wouldn't get six figure jobs with no hard work advocate for the whole "practice ready" bit. Actual law firm leaders want folks they can mold into their law firm's system and "way" of doing things.

Then there is the idea that students cannot be prepared in current law schools. This is equally a lie. Most law schools have a number of practical courses—clinical and otherwise—which simply are not taken by most students. Trial skills, practice and procedure, clinics and externships are ignored in favor of "law and literature" style classes by students.

Not that it matters. The law firms don't care. They care about (1) the school you went to and (2) your class rank. Sometimes they also care about (3) who your parents were.

This has not really changed in two decades or more.

By John on 2013 06 22, 11:33 am CDT

If W&L announced the program for 2013 then what kind of imbecile would use stats from 2011 and 2012 grads to prove anything about it?

By Fred on 2013 06 22, 2:18 pm CDT

The program written about began in 2010. The reason it became 2013 "news" is because the program had its first graduating class.

Research is our friend.

By John on 2013 06 24, 11:26 am CDT

@ John

If the first class graduated in 2013 then what do stats from the 2011 and 2012 graduates have to do with it?

By Fred on 2013 06 24, 12:59 pm CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By Andrew on 2013 06 25, 5:26 pm CDT

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