Education Law

Legislation Faculty For Non-Legal professionals Rests On Knife’s Edge Between ‘Good Thought’ And ‘Cynical Money Seize’

Legislation Faculty For Non-Legal professionals Rests On Knife’s Edge Between ‘Good Thought’ And ‘Cynical Money Seize’You’d assume legislation faculties had sufficient cash based mostly on sky excessive tuition and comfortable endowments, however legislation faculties are hooked on capital tasks the way in which professors are hooked on random “Legislation and…” lessons for 3Ls. There’ll by no means be sufficient income streams to fulfill the authorized academy beast, and if faculties can feed the money maw with out hefting extra debt on legislation college students, perhaps that’s not such a nasty factor.

This new program raised some social media eyebrows this week:

WashU is providing a “Grasp of Authorized Research” based mostly on one 12 months and 24 credit of coursework. Get all of the enjoyable of cramming for legislation college with not one of the JD!

Many of the on-line sentiment got here down in opposition to this system, however truthfully I’ve blended emotions about this.

On the one hand, authorized and authorized adjoining duties are more and more carried out by non-lawyers. The human assets division in a contemporary company makes authorized calls always. Contract directors aren’t typically attorneys they usually deal with the day-to-day enforcement of the authorized agreements forming the lifeblood of firms (and, in loads of firms, they’re reworking into useful deputy GCs). And if extra jurisdictions transfer forward with restricted licensed paralegal practitioner packages to deal with the poor to center class entry to justice hole in crucial apply areas like Household Legislation, legislation faculties have the assets to finest practice these practitioners.

Then again… do they although? If people are in search of brass tacks authorized information to deliver again to their non-lawyer career, are trendy doctrinal legislation college programs actually delivering? An HR supervisor in all probability will get extra straight relevant classes in discrimination legislation from watching a CLE than taking a 2L course designed for JD college students. Legislation faculties already face withering criticism for not producing “apply prepared” graduates — however they’re anticipated to ship actionable knowledge for folks practising different professions?

Possibly this works. Possibly this turns into a simple option to get Fortune 500 firms to foot the invoice for compliance departments to take a while off to be college students. Possibly these people don’t care what comes of it and simply need the resume line merchandise to differentiate them in a aggressive market.

And to be honest, this isn’t a judgment of WashU someway. Their program may need sparked the dialogue, nevertheless it feels inevitable that scores of colleges can be providing one thing related over the approaching years. It could be simply the factor the market wants… or it could possibly be a boondoggle.

It’s all the time going to trip that line and legislation faculties happening this street are going to be always pressed to maintain on the fitting aspect of it.

Non-Lawyer Authorized Professions [Washington University]


HeadshotJoe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Legislation and co-host of Pondering Like A Lawyer. Be at liberty to e-mail any ideas, questions, or feedback. Observe him on Twitter for those who’re considering legislation, politics, and a wholesome dose of faculty sports activities information. Joe additionally serves as a Managing Director at RPN Govt Search.

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