Monthly Archives: April 2012

Should Law Schools Select Students for Desired Capabilities (Collaboration Skills), Instead of Academic Scores?

Two recent notes (well, one was based on the other one – and the other one was based on a presentation at a PLI program) observe that the ability to collaborate has become a “core competency” for lawyers in light of how law practice has changed. OK. I agree.

Then, they say lawyers are poor collaborators. (No comment.)

Well, I was at my own program, the Elon Law/Center for Creative Leadership one. Part of the discussion there (among a panel of law school deans) was about law school admissions. One interesting comment: maybe law schools should stop basing admissions on the best grades and LSAT scores and select future lawyers  for other traits – such as the ability to collaborate.

Are you saying we should select our lawyers to be peacemakers instead of warriors? (Can we do something like that for legislators, too?)

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Lessons Learned: this takes time

If you are going to do this, then you’ve got to invest time in it.

That means not doing something else. Or, not doing this often.

There’s much to be said about law firms as organizations. I spoke about those things at a program on Friday and what I said prompted a lot of comments. Those comments have stimulated thoughts. But how to get time to capture and scrub them?

So, the lesson learned is that,  if you are going to do this, you must  invest time. That requires (i) finding the time, and (ii) committing to the discipline.

Back when my principal focus was a banking practice, I used to post notes about banking law once a week without fail on a trade association website. That was before blogs and the notes arose directly from the practice.

For now, the upshot is “not doing this often.”