Corporate Lab Course Gives Students Hands-on Experience
There's an old saying that law school doesn't teach you how to be a lawyer, just how to think like one. The adage has an uncomfortable ring of truth that has become a hot-button issue among legal educators. At an April "Future of Education" conference, United Technologies' general counsel Chester Paul Beach put the problem in stark terms: "We don't allow first- or second-year associates to work on any of our matters without special permission," Beach said at the conference, according to the legal blog Above The Law, "because they're worthless."
Students might graduate with deep knowledge of case law, but it's theoretical, lacking in practical application for a recent graduate at a big firm. Law School Professor and Associate Dean David Zarfes, AB'82, AM'83, the former executive vice president and general counsel of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, has developed a course to add that essential experience to the Chicago curriculum.