Foundations for Practice

Heather Buchanan
The Young Lawyer Editorial Board of The American Lawyer recently called out a growing disconnect between the skills and training law students are receiving and the tasks new lawyers are asked to complete in practice. For example, new lawyers today are often asked to manage both teams and deadline schedules. They are...
Zachariah DeMeola
Logan Cornett
Alli Gerkman
In the last blog, we explained that the 77 foundations survey respondents identified as being necessary for new lawyers in the short term are largely consistent and definitive across respondents. Still, there were a few differences that highlight foundations some practice settings emphasize over others. Similarly,...
Zachariah DeMeola
Logan Cornett
Alli Gerkman
In our previous blog, we explained that the 77 foundations survey respondents identified as being necessary for new lawyers immediately upon graduation from law school are consistent and definitive throughout the practice of law. The similarities we saw in responses across demographics, firm sizes, and practice-...
Zachariah DeMeola
In July 2016, IAALS published Foundations for Practice: The Whole Lawyer and the Character Quotient, which shared findings from a survey that asked more than 24,000 lawyers what new lawyers need as they enter the profession. In the survey, we also collected from respondents ten demographic and practice-specific...
Heather Buchanan
The Wisconsin Lawyer recently reviewed IAALS' Foundations for Practice study and discussed some of its ties to Wisconsin's legal community. Of the more than 24,000 lawyers nationwide who participated, 500 were from Wisconsin. In the first part of the survey, at least three-fourths of those respondents said that...
Zachariah DeMeola
With nearly 30 percent of lawyers responding to our Foundations for Practice survey indicating that “life experience between college and law school” was “very helpful” (and another 49 percent saying it was “helpful”), why don’t lawyers discuss these experiences more on resumes or in interviews? The focus generally is...
Keith Lee
A while back, Alli Gerkman wrote about the importance of life experience for new lawyers. But lawyers often don’t discuss these experiences on resumes or in interviews. They try to keep their background “strictly legal.” But the Foundations for Practice survey indicates that employers are looking for new hires that...
Alli Gerkman
For years, there is one piece of advice I give prospective law students that hasn’t changed: take time off before you go to law school. Work, travel, volunteer. Do something that isn’t school. Experience the world, whatever that means to you. So it didn’t surprise me when lawyers responding to our Foundations for...
Guest Post
James Moliterno
Since 1982, I have been an experiential education proponent, but a somewhat unusual one. For my entire 35 years in legal education, I have lived with one foot on each side of the unfortunate and artificial divide that exists between, for lack of better terminology, experience-oriented faculty and classroom-oriented...
Carolyn A. Tyler
Zachary Willis
The latest IAALS report offers insights for legal employers and aims to close the employment gap. Many legal employers still rely on criteria like class rank, law school prestige, and law review participation to inform hiring decisions, but how effective are those criteria in making good hires? A study released today...

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