More Law Students Receive Business Instruction

There is a growing trend in law schools to offer instruction in the various areas that the law intersects, and business is a big one.

The NYTimes reported that Harvard Law School released a survey of employers in February 2014, and the "124 firms that responded to the survey, called 'What Courses Should Law Students Take? Harvard’s Largest Employers Weigh In,' listed accounting, financial statement analysis and corporate finance as the best courses to prepare lawyers to handle corporate and other business matters."

In essence, "[l]aw firms were telling [law schools] that associates had no business literacy. The need for business literacy has existed for a long time and graduates had to learn the business basics on the wing, but the legal recession has forced law schools to address flaws like this that had been papered over, or not addressed, in flush times."

And law schools all over the country "are adding business-oriented offerings to better equip students to compete in a job market that is being reshaped and slimmed down as more routine legal work is being outsourced and corporate budgets cut back."

It's wonderful that law students are receiving a well-rounded education, but as Brian Tamanaha points out, law schools may do better by placing students in externships with attorneys in practice to gain the "real-world" experience. Even if law schools teach students about business and other areas that intersect with the law, sitting in the classroom just isn't the same as seeing it in action.


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