Overcoming Barriers in Preparing Law Students for Real-World Practice

The following post comes to us from Professor John Lande, Isidor Loeb Professor Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, University of Missouri School of Law:

The University of Missouri’s Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution recently held a symposium, entitled “Overcoming Barriers in Preparing Law Students for Real-World Practice.” The symposium focused on what law firms and clients need from lawyers and what law schools can do to better prepare students to fulfill those needs. Lisa Kloppenberg, the former dean at the University of Dayton, gave the keynote address, entitled Training the Heads, Hands and Hearts of Tomorrow’s Lawyers, which described Dayton’s robust curricular reforms and includes suggestions for other schools. Prof. Clark Cunningham presented what may be surprising findings from multiple studies about what clients do and do not want from lawyers. Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. and attorney John Philips gave their perspectives from the bench and bar about the most important skills for lawyers to have. School of Education Professor David Moss gave a broad overview of curriculum theory and the “hidden curriculum” that law schools implicitly teach. Prof. Judith Welch Wegner focused on the process and elements of curricular reform, using analogies to architectural features of cornerstones and curbcuts. Prof. Barbara Glesner Fines talked about the importance of focusing on what instructors believe is critically important for students to learn and, particularly on integrating legal research instruction in upper level courses.

The symposium website includes draft papers, powerpoint presentations, and videos from the symposium. The symposium will be published in the University of Missouri’s Journal of Dispute Resolution.

2 Responses

  1. The conversation at this conference was outstanding. I particularly recommend that readers check out the presentatioin by Professor Moss. An outside expert’s view of legal education is so enlightening!

  2. As I travel to St. Louis for the Mid-West Clinicians’ meeting to present on preparing “Ethics” Ready Lawyers by integrating the teaching of Legal Ethics with Field Placement courses/Externships (with Denise Platfoot Lacey Dayton), I am inspired by this the comments in this thread and indeed all the changes that are finally being implemented. Forward! liz

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