With “The Teaching of Law Practice Management and Technology in Law Schools: A New Paradigm” 88 CHI.-KENT L. REV. 757 (2013) (forthcoming), Richard S. Granat and Stephanie Kimbro analyze a deficiency in one area of traditional law school curricula and propose a solution to fix it. Because modern employers do not provide on-the-job training in law practice management, new lawyers enter the workforce without this critical knowledge. This article presents a survey of the law practice management skills required of the lawyers in the 21st Century and proposes new approaches to teaching this subject in law schools.
Richard S. Granat is Co-Chair of the eLawyering Task Force of the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association, the Founder and President of DirectLaw, Inc., a virtual law firm provider, and the Managing Partner of Granat Legal Services, P.L.L.C., a Maryland virtual law firm. Stephanie Kimbro is a member of Burton Law LLC and the recipient of the 2009 ABA Keane Award for Excellence in eLawyering.
Staff management, financial management, office management, and marketing are all essential aspects of law practice. While law practitioners used to gain training in these critical fields from employment with traditional law firms, roles with such traditional firms are increasingly rare for new members of the bar. Additionally, the Internet and information technology are transforming the practice of law and the management of law firms. Granat and Kimbro propose that law schools can better prepare their students for the modern legal practice environment by providing training in law practice management and law practice technology.
“The teaching of law practice management in law schools is becoming more critical for our profession. Employment with a traditional law firm used to provide the training and mentorship necessary to practice law. As a result of fewer employment prospects with traditional law firms, law students are now faced with the prospect of entering into law practice without this critical training and knowledge base soon after they become members of the bar.
Additionally, the Internet and information technology is transforming the practice of law and, as a result, the management of law firms is also being transformed. Lawyers must understand the benefits and risks of information technology in law practice in order to ethically and efficiently serve clients and to develop a productive legal career that allows them to compete in a changed legal marketplace. This article presents a survey of the practice management skills required of the 21st century lawyer and proposes new approaches to the teaching of this subject in law schools.”
Richard Granat will expand on this article during the live, in-person symposium on June 15, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. For more information.
Throughout the next two weeks, as the live symposium approaches, the CALI Spotlight Blog will preview another symposium presentation each day:
- June 5, 2013: Marc Lauritsen, “Liberty, Justice, and Legal Automata”
- June 6, 2013: William E. Hornsby, Jr., “Gaming the System: Approaching 100% Access to Legal Services Through Online Games”
- June 7, 2013: Conrad Johnson and Brian Donnelly, “If Only We Knew What We Know”
- June 8, 2013: Richard S. Granat and Stephanie Kimbro, “The Teaching of Law Practice Management and Technology in Law Schools: A New Paradigm”
- June 10, 2013: Oliver R. Goodenough, “Developing an e-Curriculum: Reflections on the Future of Legal Education and on the Importance of Digital Expertise”
- June 11, 2013: Tanina Rostain, Roger Skalbeck and Kevin Mulcahy, “Thinking Like a Lawyer, Designing Like an Architect: PReparing Students for the 21st Century Practice”
- June 12, 2013: Ronald W. Staudt and Andrew P. Medeiros, “Access to Justice and Technology Clinics: A 4% Solution”
- June 13, 2013: Hybrid Courses of the A2J Clinic Project
- Tanina Rostain & Roger Skalbeck, Technology, Innovation and Law Practice: An Experiential Seminar at Georgetown University Law Center
- Judith Wegner, Becoming a Professional at UNC School of Law
- Sunrise Ayers, A2J Clinic at Concordia University School of law
- June 14, 2013: Traditional Clinical Courses of the A2J Clinic Project
- Conrad Johnson, Mary Zulack & Brian Donnelly, Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic at Columbia Law School
- Joe Rosenberg, Main Street Legal Services, Elder Law Clinic at CUNY School of Law
- JoNel Newman & Melissa Swain, Medical Legal Clinic at University of Miami School of Law
- June 15, 2013: Kevin D. Ashley, “Teaching Law and Digital Age Legal Practice with an AI and Law Seminar;” and Vern R. Walker et al, “Law Schools as Knowledge Centers in the Digital Age”
Professor Ashley and Professor Walker are unable to attend the in-person symposium on June 15, 2013, but their valuable contributions will be published with the printed edition of the Chicago-Kent Law Review that accompanies the live symposium.