Law dean sees legal practice from a new perspective
Posted Feb 14, 2013 8:45 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
University of California at Hastings law dean Frank Wu says his perspective has changed since he was a lawyer in private practice.
Writing for the Huffington Post, Wu says he is now a client instead of a “real lawyer” in a law firm. “To my embarrassment,” he writes, “I have realized that most of what matters to me as a client was not apparent to me as a lawyer.”
Wu says he is looking for an efficient resolution of matters and, when there are uncertainties, he would like a “good prediction with the relevant factors laid out.” Reliability and clarity are important, along with knowledge of university legal issues. And he cares “intensely” about legal fees. “I don't have the budget to hire the most expensive lawyer in town,” he writes.
He also wants a close professional relationship with the lawyer representing his institution. “I want to be able to trust that the lawyer is not only competent but also loyal,” he writes. “That takes me full circle. The leading lesson we should impress upon students is that the legal profession is a service profession. I confess I don't recollect having been informed of that fact when I sat where they sit.”