Law school counterpunches

Published: Aug 12, 2009

Topics: Law       

As more law firms join the Morgan Lewis bandwagon, canceling their summer associate programs (a development Legal OnRamp’s Paul Lippe likened to Armageddon), it’s no doubt satisfying to some students to see one law school strike back, albeit with a blow that is more gesture than jab. As Above the Law reports today, Fordham Law School has banned Reed Smith from its campus for five years because of the firm’s “lack of professionalism” in belatedly pulling out of the on-campus recruiting process this year (the firm is still hosting a summer program; it just decided not to interview at Fordham to staff it).

In related news, Lippe offers more ideas on how law schools might better prepare lawyers for the future. While he makes a number of good points, his premise strikes me as unduly narrow, focused as it is on corporate clients—that’s OK if you look at law as exclusively a service industry, but I agree with the comments by Ray Campbell (visiting professor at Penn State) suggesting that the study of law is in fact—and should be—more:

“Is being a lawyer just about serving paying clients? Not to diminish the importance of providing awesome service to clients, but I think a lawyer's duties are a bit more nuanced than that. You can be a great, client oriented lawyer and keep an eye on the bigger game, but you diminish the profession and short sell what law schools need to do if you take too narrow a view of a lawyer's role in society.”

- posted by vera