Best Defense?

Seeking a Haven in Law School

by Nathan Koppel,


which includes the following comments (sounds a lot like “the law school speech,” huh?):

School administrators seize on the versatility of a law degree in asserting that it is still a sound investment. Lawyers, they say, will play a central role in navigating a variety of issues, such as the use of natural resources, cross-border trade and government stimulus spending, which likely will play a central role in the economy for years to come.

"As compared to other graduate programs, [law school] is more analytically rigorous and touches more areas of society," says Paul Berman, dean of Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, where applications this year are down.

But even those bullish on law school stress that students should take steps to ensure that their investment pays off. For starters, students should aim to get into an elite law school. . . . In a buyer's market for jobs, lawyers note, employers can afford to be choosy and hire only the most pedigreed applicants.

That said, all hope is not lost for students who do not gain admission to a top-tier school -- if they work hard once there and gain a place on the school's law review. Students who graduate "at the top of their class from almost any school will find work in almost any economy," says the National Association for Law Placement's Mr. Leipold.

Once in school, law students should take classes in legal specialties that are poised for growth, such as intellectual-property law and international arbitration, which often is used to resolve cross-border business disputes. Students should also reach out to lawyers practicing in such growth practices, using their school's alumni directory as a source of professional contacts.

"It's never too early to start making contacts in your field and learn about what the practice entails," says Amy Berenson Mallow, a managing director at Shannon & Manch LLP, a Washington-based consulting firm that provides career counseling to lawyers.

If students know where they want to live after graduation, it may help to attend a law school in that region. "Homegrown kids always have an advantage," says Bruce MacEwen, a New York-based law-firm consultant.

Those committed to taking the plunge into law school can at least take heart in the fact that the job market, come graduation, probably won't look much worse than it does now. "Hopefully by then there will be a turnaround," Ms. Berenson Mallow says. "Economic cycles can change."




5/9/2012 09:51:20 pm

It's really informative blog post. I love it..Thanks for sharing it dear.


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