Annual Meeting 2011

ABA Urges Law Schools to Adopt More Practical Training for Students

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The ABA House of Delegates voted Tuesday to adopt a resolution to urge law schools to more adequately prepare law students for the real-life experience of practicing law and bolster CLE training to better bridge the gap between law school and actual practice.

Submitted to the House in a late report from the New York State Bar Association at the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto, Resolution 10B (PDF-Revised) resolves that the ABA “take steps to assure that law schools, law firms, law examiners, CLE providers and others concerned with continued professional development provide the knowledge, skills, values, habits and traits that make up the successful modern lawyer.”

“Many new lawyers come out of law school never having drafted a complaint; never having seen a contract; never having interacted with a client, much less an adverse witness,” said former New York State Bar Association President Stephen Younger. However, those same lawyers, in increasing numbers, are hanging their shingles as solo practitioners. “It is a real ticking time-bomb for our profession,” Younger said.

Pauline A. Schneider, a member of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar said the section was unable to comment on the merits of the resolution given its late submission to the House.

However, the resolution was amended to settle confusion over some of the original wording. It passed as revised by an overwhelming voice vote.

Last updated to reflect the final adopted language.

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