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Law Schools Lack Tech Training

At his blog Strategic Legal Technology, Ron Friedmann points to a newly published study of legal technology by Gene Koo of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. The study, New Skills, New Learning: Legal Education and the Promise of Technology, provides further evidence of what every practicing lawyer already knows: that there are critical gaps between the skills law schools teach and those the workplace requires. Koo's research, conducted in partnership with LexisNexis, found that more than 75 percent of lawyers say they lack critical practice skills after completing their law school education. Law schools are particularly weak in teaching technology skills, the survey suggests.

"Smaller firms can stay competitive with larger firms through more nimble deployment of technology tools and by exploiting the exploding amount of data openly available on the Web. Attorneys at these firms need tech-related skills to realize these opportunities."

Another interesting finding is that lawyers continue to suffer in their post-school technology training, particularly lawyers at smaller firms less able to afford formal professional development.

"Neither law schools nor most workplaces provide new attorneys with a structured transition between school and practice. Only 36 percent of lawyers surveyed report a dedicated training experience during their first year of employment."

The report, says Friedmann, "is an excellent step in bringing some academic clarity to the role of technology in law practice and legal education."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on April 5, 2007 at 05:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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