Planning on being in the New York City area over break? You should consider signing up for the New York City Bar’s Annual LSAT/Law School Prep Series, set for January 7, 8 and 10. If you sign up by January 1, the cost is $5! (It only increases to $10 after January 1). The program was created to provide prospective law students with information on everything from preparing for the LSAT through being successful in the first year of law school. The program includes LSAT Preview Classes by several well-regarded test prep companies – as well as panels with admissions representatives and law students from regional law schools and a Networking Fair with free classes and material giveaways. It will be held at the NYC Bar Association Office, 42 West 44th Street. For more information and to register, go here: http://www.nycbar.org/index.php/diversity/student-pipeline-program/programs/187-lsatlaw-school-prep-series.
Our biggest Law Fair ever is tomorrow! Over 120 law schools will be here for the Law Fair on Tuesday, October 23 from 11am-3pm at the ARC. Click on our LawSchoolFairNewsletter2012to access our special edition Newsletter for the list of attendees, as well as tips and suggestions for getting the most out of this great opportunity! This newsletter contains information on what to wear, what questions to ask (page 2), and which schools are coming (pages 5 and 6). And to help you focus your approach, check out pages 3 and 4 for some possible “target” schools lists. This newsletter has ALL the details on the fair.
We look forward to seeing you tomorrow at the ARC, 11am-3pm!
Professor Henderson Lecture at Illinois College of Law- 9/19/12
I hope that any pre-law students who came to this lecture had a great time (and enjoyed the free lunch afterwards with so many of the U of I’s best professors, deans, and students!) Attending these lectures is a great way to get a feeling for what law school is like, and to ponder legal questions that are presented. I strongly encourage you not only to find a day that you can make it here on our campus – but to attend a lunch lecture at every one of your campus visits. Most attendees don’t take notes, but I decided to type up lecture notes so that you could see what one type of lecture notes look like after being heavily influenced by law school note-taking. I hope they are clear enough to make sense of the topic, and maybe even elicit thought or comment from you! I’ll be sure to post future lunch lectures and encourage pre-law students to attend the ones that sound especially interesting and relevant. Jamie and I will be at the Helen Gunnarsson Seminar tomorrow at the law school at 12:00 if you are interested in attending. Hope to see you there!
Human Capital Accounting for Lawyers
The issue addressed by Professor Henderson’s lecture is that the economic rules of law practice and legal education are now different due to globalization. He broadly summarized this with the phrase “Asia, Automation, and Abundance.” Before diving into any specifics in legal education or the flaws that are a part of the system that was established pre-globalization, he took the time to lay out the basis for his theories and the terminologies and influences that guided this development.
Human Capital Accounting (HCA) is a systematic gathering of facts, assigning significance to those facts, and then using the results to make better decisions. There is a constant assessment of whether the added value of “better decisions” exceeds the cost of the decision-making process. Professor Henderson cites C.F. Braun’s insights from earlier in the 20th century, his belief in sharing the “why” or the decision-making process with the people implementing those decisions, and the necessary “tooling” or “white collar tools” that were developed to create a successful field. All this to say that the same successes can be found if we “retool” and modernize the profession in practice and in the legal preparation law schools provide.
Professor Henderson had a simple framework for the rest of his lecture:
1) Articulate Goals (modernize legal education / practice)
2) Present estimated costs and estimation of benefits that move toward that goal.
3) Compare costs and benefits and make decisions.
To modernize the education and practice, law schools need to move away from a model that is built on creating lawyers for artisan trades and private practices that was established post WWII. With increased access to legal information, what clients now have are sophisticated legal needs that require non-traditional legal services. So there is not a clear economic rationale to train lawyers. The needed human capital (HC) is an ability to collaborate over a complex domain of knowledge including: information technology, systems engineering, fianance, marketing, project management, and law. The focus in law school should be communication and feedback around this diverse set of elements. Here Prof. Henderson provided anecdotal evidence from the legal classes he is teaching and the peculiar class design that allowed him to see that predictors of good and successful group work was predicated on communication – useful feedback and an opportunity to understand and listen.
In assessing the costs of this type of system, it became clear that the hidden costs are the emotional costs in shifting to such a communication based model of legal education. No specific numbers were given to analyze the costs of implementing what he coined as a “competency based curriculm with intensive feedback.” He did however point to the fact that some states, like Michigan, have integrated competency models into their government programming. Anyone can get an idea of what a competency model looks like by viewing this model at: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/AG_BARS_14717_7.pdf
In making the decision to leap forward in legal education to using competency models focused on the domain of knowledge and skills in a modern world, Professor Henderson challenged law schools to step outside the prescribed curriculum and meet these modern needs. Responding to questions about ABA standards and the “slowness” of change, he left with an explicit call to universities to be bold and willing to make these changes – to which Dean Smith jokingly responded with respect for the advice and a disclaimer that Professor Henderson does not represent legal counsel for the law school 😉
In all, I had mixed feelings about the lecture. On one hand, I enjoyed hearing how successful legal minds contemplate the need for legal education reform – and on the other hand I listen as an educator (I taught for four years) who finds so much of what is said as glaringly obvious and inadequate in terms of actually leading to actual change. What will lead to change I then ask? I suppose a continued effort by scholars and practitioners like Henderson to spread this philosophy will contribute to that change. Will a free market speak to it? Can the US continue to be the leading authority? These are huge questions and are always debatable – and if you have a thought please comment or stop in to chat!
Here are three great opportunities for pre-law students.
1. This is a great opportunity to help a law student and see what trial advocacy classes are like!
Volunteers are needed to sit as jurors and hear opening statements from U. of I. College of Law students enrolled in the Trial Advocacy Program from 6:30-9 p.m. Oct. 16, 17 & 18 at the Champaign County Courthouse. You can volunteer for one night or more. Opening statements are from a homicide & a serious personal injury case. Contact: Julie Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org or 333-5842
2. And, for those of you who enjoy acting…College of Law Trial Advocacy volunteer witnesses are needed. Volunteers are needed to play expert witnesses for the U. of I. College of Law Trial Advocacy class from 6-9 p.m. Oct. 2, 3 & 4 at the Champaign County Courthouse. You can volunteer for one night or more. You will be given a script for your role and all the information you need the night you volunteer. No outside work or info is needed. Contact: Julie Campbell, email@example.com or 333-5842.
3. Looking for an internship? Check out the Sociology Internship Fair this Friday, Sept. 21, 1-3pm in 3057 Lincoln Hall. All Majors Welcome! Spring and Summer Internships available in a variety of settings –check out a list of who’s coming on the website:
Gifts to the first 25 students who arrive!
We just received this information about the University of Iowa College of Law Prospective Student Day. Note that RSVPs are due this Monday, Sept. 17.
From the Dean of Admissions at the University of Iowa College of Law:
The University of Iowa is coordinating a Prospective Students’ Day at the College of Law on Friday, September 21, 2012. This event is a wonderful opportunity for you and your students to visit our facilities, receive a tour of the College of Law, and learn more about our career services process, our curriculum and the admissions process. You will also have a chance to interact with faculty, staff, current students and the vibrant community of Iowa City. More information about Prospective Students’ Day can be found at www.law.uiowa.edu.
To send an RSVP for Prospective Students’ Day, please contact Ms. Amy Beier at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 17.
Also, I hope that you or your students will visit the University of Iowa College of Law’s web site: www.law.uiowa.edu. You will find it both comprehensive and informative. You can also contact the Office of Law Admissions directly to arrange for a visit to the Law School. Our email address is email@example.com. You can also contact us by telephone at 319-335-9095. We will be able to set up a law school class visit, an individual tour of the College of Law, or a meeting with an admissions officer.
Students who are interested in UIowa are encouraged to attend or set up another visit.
The law schools are beginning to announce their fall open houses as well as their tour and information session schedules. This is an excellent opportunity for you to visit some of those schools on your list and get a sense for what the student experience is like at each institution. Check the law schools’ websites for more information about open houses and tours. Here are some Illinois law schools that have begun advertising their events.
The John Marshall Law School — Open Houses Based on a sample itinerary, it appears that these sessions begin around 9am and go to approximately 1pm, featuring mock classes, tours and opportunities to chat with current JMLS students.
Saturday, October 13, 2012; Saturday, November 17, 2012
For more information and to register for an open house at JMLS, go to: http://www.jmls.edu/admission/jd/visiting.asp.
In addition, the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution at the John Marshall Law School is inviting interested UIUC students to participate in an “All-Star Advocacy” workshop at their Chicago campus on select Fridays during the fall semester from 11am-3pm. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in this specially designed workshop, tour the newly-remodeled JMU facility, be treated to lunch and then observe one of JMU’s trial teams in pre-competition preparation. This program will be offered on the following dates:
September 28; October 5; October 12; October 19; October 26; November 2; and November 9. If you are interested in attending any of these events, please contact Chase Grusczka at either: CGRUSZK@law.jmls.edu or (630) 319-3942 with your R.S.V.P.
Northern Illinois University Law School — Open Houses
For more information, go to: http://www.niu.edu/law/admission/on-campus_recruitment.shtml
- Fall Open House and Mock Class
NIU DeKalb, Room 155
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Registration is required by September 20. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (815) 753-8595 to register.
- Fall Open House and Class Visit
NIU DeKalb, Room TBD
- Fall Open House and Mock Class
NIU DeKalb, Room TBD
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
- Fall Open House and Class Visit
NIU DeKalb, Room TBD
Most of the remaining Illinois law schools have information on their websites about upcoming information sessions and tours. Several schools require the completion of an online form to schedule a visit. Make sure you follow the instructions given by each school.
- University of Chicago Law School: Info Sessions: To be announced. Tours: Mondays and Fridays at 12:15pm. For more information, go to: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/prospectives/visit
- Chicago-Kent College of Law: Admissions Information Sessions: Fridays, 12:30-2pm. Tours: M-Th 12-1pm. For more information and to register using the online form, go to: http://www.kentlaw.iit.edu/prospective-students/jd-program-admissions/visit-campus.
- DePaul University College of Law: Information Sessions, Tours and Class Visits will be Mondays and Wednesdays at Noon, and Fridays at 1pm. To register, go to: http://www.law.depaul.edu/applicants/visit_depaul/
- University of Illinois College of Law: For information, go to: http://www.law.illinois.edu/prospective-students/
- Loyola University-Chicago School of Law: To schedule a visit and tour, go to: http://www.luc.edu/law/admission/visit_us1.html
- Northwestern University School of Law: Tours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday at Noon while classes are in session. Registration is not required. For more information, go to: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissions/tour/
- Southern Illinois University School of Law: To schedule a visit, go to: http://www.law.siu.edu/Prospective%20Students/Visit_sol.php
Recent reports showed that the Class of 2011 law grads faced a very difficult job market. As this author says, perhaps the challenge of placement has forced law schools to institute some much-needed change into how they deliver legal education. This is a good, well-balanced article that addresses the challenges of the job market while also acknowledging interesting (and possibly more effective) law school initiatives that have resulted from the job market. Take a look!