Two law professors are suggesting that law schools create law firms to give students hands-on experience over the course of 3 – 6 years after law school to make them more practice-ready. Interesting concept. I suspect law students would resist an extra couple of years of legal education post law school, but they would get paid, much like the residency concept doctors are required to complete. Maybe this could be a way for students to off-set their law school loans.
I like that the students in this setting would help provide low-cost legal services to the under-served. And, I’d suggest that any excess revenue go toward Legal Aid. That seems like a “win-win”.
What kind of cases would these law “schirms” take? There’s no shortage of need for indigent representation. But lack of adequate funding in the current legal aid model is at the core of meeting the demand. Public interest law firms are also struggling. If law “schirms” started taking on fee-generating cases, now you’ve got increased competition for the local law firms. Not sure how the law school alums would feel about that.
Nevertheless, the idea warrants consideration. The essence of the discussion is creating practice-ready lawyers and finding alternatives to the law school model that are responsive to the changing legal marketplace.