Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The Best Law Schools For Practical Training

Best Schools For Practical Training, preLaw (Spring 2020):

These schools focus on giving students real-world experience before they step into the real world. It’s growing more vital, since employers want grads who don’t need hand-holding.

Practical Training

We graded schools on a number of data points, focusing on key practical training offerings such as clinics, externships, simulation courses, pro bono hours and moot trial participation.

We gave the largest weight — 32% — to clinics. We asked schools for the number of students who completed a clinic in 2018-19. If a student was enrolled in two semesters, that counted as two. Extra credit was given to schools by which clinic work is guaranteed or required.

Externships were weighted at 25% and we asked schools how many students completed one in 2018-19. Again, if a student had two externships, that counted as two.

Simulation courses accounted for 20% of the score. We asked for the total enrollment in such courses.

Moot court and pro bono hours accounted for 10%. If a school required pro bono hours, it got extra credit.

Finally, we gave 10% to additional practical training offerings, such as required legal writing. We asked schools to provide us with such information as they saw fit.

Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink


Need one more column -- the post graduation employment rates (in jobs that require bar passage), and how that compares with the nationwide statistics.

Posted by: Andy Patterson | Jun 9, 2020 6:31:59 AM

Well... that doesn't speak very highly of other schools' training programs. My co-ops were almost invariably lightly disguised clerical/non-legal work lightly spritzed with the flimsiest veneer of legal work. Supervision? Not really. Mentorship? You must be insane. Was post-graduation hiring a realistic possibility? Rarely. It was a farce. It was a makework program for small law firms and state government agencies too lazy or cheap to hire a temp. Practical legal training? I'd hate to see what impractical legal training would look like.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jun 9, 2020 4:57:54 PM


But that puncture the myths that

1) Legal employers hire on the basis of practical training instead of pedigree, and

2) Practical training translates into job opportunities at those internships/externships/co-ops/etc.

Prelaw, as the name suggests, is about getting butts in seats. It isn't about to portray these institutions in any sort of realistic light, for that would scare students away.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jun 12, 2020 9:01:19 AM