Law school grads should be 'client ready'

The phrase 'practice ready' has gained traction, but the client part of it seems to have fallen by the wayside.

, The National Law Journal


The phrase 'practice ready' has gained traction, but the client part of it seems to have fallen by the wayside.

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What's being said

  • Law Student

    I think this is an interesting piece, as well as one that is incredibly accurate. Both the law practice and legal education models seem to be out of touch with reality in part, and the changes that we, students, have seen in the last three years has been limited. Mr. Semple comments were intriguing as well, though I tend to doubt that the ABA commandeered a resolution from Detroit Mercy School of Law. However, his experiential learning focus comment makes a great cover letter going forward (or at least reads like one.)

  • Lloyd A. Semple

    This is a very interesting and thoughtful piece, and very much on the money. But I need to correct the record on one point. At the University of Detroit School of Law we created our innovative Law Firm program in 2006, in which simulated practice experiences are at the core of several courses (currently 19) offered to our students. They are taught by experienced practitioners who treat students, and conduct the curriculum, as though the students are associates in their firms or empleyees in their corporate legal departments. Client-centeredness has been very much included in most if not all of these course offerings since the inception of the program. The Client part has not "fallen by the wayside". That is what the courses are all about. Completion of one Law Firm course and one of our nine clinical courses are required for graduation. These requirements were in place well before Washington & Lee, or to my knowledge any other Law School, jumped aboard the experiential learning band-wagon. In 2009, two full years before the ABA resolution or the New York Times article mentioned by Professor Robbins, we rolled out our "Plactice Ready Grads" marketing campaign in all of our printed, internet and outdoor advertising materials. The campaign was very well received in Michigan and elsewhere, so much so that it later became a short way to describe experiential learning by the ABA and many law schools. We have always assumed therefor that the ABA picked up the term in its resolution from us. Our Law Firm and Clinical program offerings thrive to this day, which is why we continue to proudly refer to our graduating students as "Practice Ready Grads".

    Lloyd A. Semple, Dean and Professor of Law.

    University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

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