Thursday, August 12, 2021
Best Schools For Practical Training, preLaw (Spring 2021):
This year, we’re honoring 65 schools, but every law school invests in practical training. The American Bar Association requires that law students take at least six “experiential credits,” even though some experts cite that figure as being too low. Law schools have been criticized in the past for not producing grads ready to take on real jobs. Expanding practical training offerings beyond the ABA’s requirement has been one response.
Practical Training Methodology
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 [2019-20]. 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 [2019-20]. 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.
If schools did not reply, we relied on ABA data.