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



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

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

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