Law school, an institution increasingly under attack, may be able to save itself. Two law professors have proposed a solution. It's radical but it just could work.
Brooklyn Law School professor Bardley Borden and University of Maryland School of Law professor Robert Rhee wrote the article "The Law School Firm" which will be published in SOUTH CAROLINA LAW REVIEW. As Karen Sloan reports in THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL, the two recommend that law schools establish fully-operational law firms, much like medical schools link with teaching hospitals. The payoff could be profound.
Of course, law school students would have access to clinical placements at the firm. New JDs could have real jobs there. Once they know their way around practicing law, they could seek higher-paid compensation in traditional law firms. The public could have lower-cost legal services. And the brandname of the school could skyrocket.
Although innovative, the approach is rightly timed. Law firms and their clients are decrying the lack of law-school graduates skills in practicing laws. New JDs are suing their alma maters because they didn't get jobs practicing law and they contend the data provided by the school indicated a high job placement rate with a certain average or median compensation. In addition, because of budget constraints, traditional facilities such as Legal Aid which used to serve low-income clients aren't able to meet demand. The law firms attached to the law school could fill that gap - and along the way gain plenty of favorable media coverage.