3 arguments for the Medicalization of Legal Education

by Vault Law Editors | October 13, 2009

  • My Vault

1.     The need to make choices

At a NALP Roundtable on the Future of Lawyer Hiring, Development, and Advancement, Stanford Law Dean Larry Kramer made the following remark:

“[T]he vast majority of the students in medical school come straight from college and have no idea what kind of doctor they want to be, but none of them graduates that way. … the way they train people in medical school, they do put them in a position where they do make choices. We didn't need to. The first three or four years were an extension of law school where you wander around practice groups, and have your rotations that way. Economic pressures force us away from that. We do need to rethink it. It's not that it's impossible. Three years is enough time.”

2.     The need for a central matching authority

In The American Lawyer, Harvard Law Professor Ashish Nanda argues that lawyers should be recruited like doctors:

 “The current oversupply of new associates has sent law firms scrambling to implement short-term adjustments, such as secondments and deferrals. But the legal profession needs more than temporary half-measures. The new-associate recruitment market is fundamentally broken, and it has been for some time. Incremental changes are not going to address its underlying problems. The market needs a structural fix -- a centralized matching authority, like the one that the medical profession has been using for more than half a century. “

3.     The need for apprenticeships

The National Law Journal takes a look at some firms’ (e.g. Howrey) experiments with apprenticeship programs: “Think of it as the equivalent of a medical residency, only with suits instead of scrubs.”

                                                         -posted by brian

Filed Under: Law

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