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IAALS Online National Conversations About Continuous Improvement of the American legal System

Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

The Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Initiative serves to advance innovation in legal education in order to train new lawyers to the highest standards of competence and professionalism.

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Follow Our 2014 #ETLConference Online, Covering Assessment in Legal Education

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured

This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (September 18-20), I will be attending the 3rd Annual Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Conference, which will focus on “Accelerating Competency: Assessment in Legal Education.” I’ll be keeping you updated throughout each day with live tweets on conference happenings and discussions taking place—so even if you can’t join us, you can follow along online using hashtag #ETLConference.

Teaching Practical Legal Skills in a Strictly Classroom Setting

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Chad G. Asarch recently wrote an article discussing the Real Estate Transactions course he teaches, which emphasizes practical legal skills in a non-clinical, traditional classroom setting. In contemplating the structure of the course, Asarch analyzed the actual work practicing lawyers undertake in representing a client in a real estate transaction, and class assignments were designed to make students perform these tasks.

‘Foundations for Practice’ Gaining Momentum—and Support

Alli Gerkman Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

In May, we launched Foundations for Practice, an ambitious project that will study the foundations entry-level lawyers need to launch successful careers, identify models of legal education to get us there, and develop hiring tools to help employers better match their needs with their hiring practices. This summer we also added a new member to the ETL team. Kevin Keyes is joining us as a Project Manager, working with us and our many partners on the first phase of the project.

Foundations for Practice Aims to Redefine Legal Education

Zachary Willis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured

Law Week Colorado recently published an article detailing the launch of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers’ Foundations for Practice project. The goal of the project is to give law schools more information about the skills, competencies, characteristics, and traits—referred to as “foundations”—that real-world practitioners say graduates need to be successful. Once these foundations are identified, law schools can then incorporate them more fully.

Multi-Stage ADR Simulation Resources Collected and Shared by ETL Fellow

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Professor and ETL Fellow John Lande of the University of Missouri School of Law has helped bring together a new collection of resources for law school professors who teach Alternative Dispute Resolution or who use ADR simulations in their classes. The website is intended to be a place where professors can learn about multi-stage simulations while sharing their own ideas and experiences using them.

Mercer and Vanderbilt Honored for Professionalism Programs

Zachary Willis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

The ABA recently honored Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law and Vanderbilt University Law School, both Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium schools, with their 2014 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards. The award recognizes excellence and innovation in professionalism programs by law schools, bar associations, professionalism commissions, and other law-related organizations.

A Case Study on Experiential Education through Community-Based Project

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Professor Ann C. Hodges, University of Richmond Law School, has published an article on Using Experiential Education to Develop Human Resources for the Nonprofit Community: A Course Study Analysis. The paper analyzes a course in Nonprofit Organizations that incorporates a community-based project, and can serve as a resource for other professors interested in implementing experiential education models.

Preparing Law Students for Practice Using Problem-Solving

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Many advocates for legal education reform state that the traditional Socratic lecture model in law schools must be supplemented by experiential learning. Professor Kathleen Elliott Vinson of Suffolk University Law School, an Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium school, recently published a paper advocating for experiential learning through a curriculum that emphasizes problem-solving.

A Primer on Professionalism for Doctrinal Professors

Zachary Willis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

A recently published a paper, entitled “A Primer on Professionalism for Doctrinal Professors,” discusses how and why doctrinal professors should incorporate attorney professionalism into their curriculum. Professor Schaefer offers guidance in developing course outcomes that connect legal subject matter with issues of professionalism and methods for doing so.

Consortium Schools Among Best Part-Time Law School Programs for Practical Training

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Last month, preLaw Magazine released its list of best practical training schools for part-time students. preLaw considered 97 part-time programs, all having 20 or more students, and 22 were selected for the magazine’s top honors. Four Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium schools were named to the list: Georgetown, Hofstra, Loyola Chicago, and the University of Maryland.

Colorado Public Radio: Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers with the Foundations They Need

Zachary Willis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured

On June 5, Alli Gerkman, Director of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, appeared on Colorado Public Radio to talk about efforts being made on a national scale to change legal education and how Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers is leading the way. During the interview, Gerkman discusses the need to bridge the gap between law schools and the profession and the opportunity to forge a better path forward.

Challenging Law School Rankings: The Regional Reality of the Legal Job Market

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a prospective law student who has not obsessed over law school rankings like US News and World Report. In fact, it is likely that many prospective students use rankings as one of the heaviest weighted factors in making their decisions about which school to attend. But should they? Local and regional economies and students’ personal connections to a community are two factors that are just as important.

Rocket Lawyer: Foundations for Practice a Defining Project for Future Lawyers

Zachary Willis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured

Rocket Lawyer, founded in 2008, is an alternative, online legal service provider that many see as a first wave in a tidal shift in how legal services are delivered to the public. They recently published an article on their blog that spoke to the uncertain and shifting state of legal education, and the profession as a whole, and some of the efforts that are being made to spearhead the best way forward, including those being made by Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers.

University of Denver Offers Experiential Learning “Live Client Guarantee”

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law, one of ETL’s Consortium schools, now offers a Live Client Guarantee. The Guarantee ensures that every student can receive hands-on client interactions outside of the classroom. The University of Denver is one of only 16 law schools that have such a guarantee, including three other ETL Consortium schools.

New Book Discusses What It Takes To Be a Good Lawyer

Katherine Kirk Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Douglas O. Linder and Nancy Levit have compiled a handbook outlining what it takes to be a good lawyer. Drawing upon recent social science research and the experience of excellent practicing attorneys, Linder and Levit suggest that good lawyers must develop their practice beyond simply having the intellectual ability to understand the law. In The Good Lawyer: Seeking Quality in the Practice of Law, they outline crucial qualities to lawyering.

Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Survey Used to Analyze Rate of Law School Innovation

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

The Journal of Legal Education of Southwestern Law School recently published an article surveying the landscape of legal education. Authors Stephen Daniels, Martin Katz, and William Sullivan used an Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers survey to discuss changes that have been made by the legal academy and whether these changes were forceful enough to overcome the inertia of traditional legal education.

Stratum: Creating a Community for Solos

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

As a soon-to-be-graduate, I often find my head swirling with concerns and worries about life after law school. Beyond joining a firm, what options are out there for new grads? Banding together with a couple other recent grads or, scarier yet, hanging out my own shingle? The Denver Bar Association was trying to answer exactly this question when it unveiled Stratum, which offers meeting spaces, networking events, and just about every business amenity a lawyer could need.

Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Launches National Project to Establish Professional “Foundations” for New Lawyers

Robert Thompson Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured, Press Release

IAALS is pleased to announce “Foundations for Practice.” Led by Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, this ambitious project focuses on improving legal education and closing the gap between how students are being taught in law school and the knowledge and skills legal professionals say new graduates need to succeed.

Let’s Stop Choosing Law School Like It’s 1999

Alli Gerkman Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured, Informed Opinions

In the world of choosing law schools, we have generic rankings and recommendations—including US News & World Report, and a number of others that have popped up over the years—which can provide a certain value, but they hardly give the whole picture. Last year, we launched Law Jobs: By the Numbers, an employment calculator that allows you to review school employment numbers based on the criteria you care about most—and with the new 2013 ABA employment numbers, we’ve made some big upgrades.

Job Placement for Law Grads: What US News Doesn’t Take into Account

Alli Gerkman Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, News

For the second year in a row, the U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 law school rankings have taken advantage of the rich employment data now made public by the American Bar Association. But as the Economist noted last week, the rankings have not yet made use of an interesting piece of data the ABA has published: whether student jobs reported by schools were funded by law schools.

ETL in U.S. News: Making Law Students More Employable

Zachary Willis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured

Change is happening in law schools across the country. While most are evolving independently, many schools are working toward the same end: developing new teaching methods and strategies that teach students skills that will give them an edge with employers. A recent U.S. News and World Report article highlights a few of these efforts from Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium schools, which emphasize practical skills training and a more hands-on understanding of what it means to be a lawyer.

New York Proposes Pro Bono Scholars Program for Third-Year Students

Katherine Kirk Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Chief Judge Johnathan Lippman of the New York Court of Appeals has announced a new program designed to allow third-year law students to sit for the bar exam in February, so long as they devote their final semester to pro bono work. Ideally, the program will give indigent clients more access to legal representation, while also helping students gain the practical legal experience needed upon graduation from law school.