Most Are Feeling Unprepared for Legal Jobs

KEY POINTS:

  • Graduates are claiming that their law school education is not preparing them for real world profession.
  • New lawyers are lacking practical skills when entering the legal industry.
  • Lack of face-to-face interactions are diluting the efficacy of law school education delivery.

Seeing a common trend flowing out of law schools across the U.S., associates are noting that they’re previous education did not prepare them for their practice. The legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa, along with the data intelligence provider Leopard Solutions show that a staggering 45% of law school graduates stated that their curriculum did not sufficiently train them for success in their current role. Also, 31% claim that their experience was not as expected upon finishing their education.

Students commonly noted across the country that their education lacked practical skills and should have contained a greater focus on transactional practices. Respondents said their legal firm experience did not meet expectations due to a more rigorous curriculum centered around litigation and lack of training in the type of legal work they currently do day-to-day.

Laura Leopard, the CEO of Leopard Solutions, made a clear distinction that the negate outlook amongst new lawyers reported the fact that many were studying, or began in their current firm during COVID-19.

“It’s clear that the lack of facetime and personalized training had an impact on their development,” Leopard stated, clarifying many associates had missed face-to-face interactions, pivotal to the learning structure due to the pandemic. It is very interesting to see this trickledown effect and almost an echo of a previous article, NCBE’s New 2026 Bar Exam, written about the new bar exam being rolled out by the National Conference of Bar Examiners by 2026 as result of similar issues.

Reading more from both perspectives, with the lack of face-to-face interactions, legal education is losing efficacy points as there seems to be common issues with the lack of quality in many law schools across the U.S. What is even more interesting is that Covid seems to have done nothing but emphasize the issue at hand. Moving forward it looks like the time-honored institutional structure of teaching, content, and delivery are in question. It will be very interesting to see where law schools go from here.

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