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It’s not just summer associates heading back to school this month. More than a hundred practicing lawyers in the San Francisco Bay Area are heeding the school bell and teaching classes at local law schools. New among them this fall is Steven Bochner, partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He’s part of a three-man team that’s teaching a course on counseling a tech company from its startup phase through an initial public offering and beyond. “It’s a series of classes that provide an overview of a life cycle of a Silicon Valley company,” Bochner said. He ought to know. Bochner’s a longtime corporate lawyer at Wilson, and he’s taught many a workshop in the valley to fledgling entrepreneurs and has guest-lectured for other professors. As a bonus, Bochner is donating his modest lecturer’s salary back to Stanford University in Palo Alto. Adjunct Stanford educators typically draw $10,000 per semester for a two-unit course. School officials are hoping they can find more lawyers like him. Stanford is increasingly trying to leverage the local knowledge base whenever possible, says Mark Kelman, who, as a law professor and Stanford’s associate academic dean, is Bochner’s newest boss. “We love having people come in to intensify the experience of classes that are fundamentally run by lecturers,” Kelman said. Practicing lawyers are often paired with faculty. In this case, Bochner is working with Professor William Simon. Simon also tapped former Wilson partner David Drummond, who is now chief financial officer of SmartForce, to help teach the course. But while Stanford is based in the tech mecca of Silicon Valley, the most popular place for practitioners to ply their knowledge on unsuspecting students appears to be San Francisco’s Hastings College of the Law. The school has some 80 practitioners heading back to class alongside the students this month. “Our adjuncts teach primary skills-related courses like trial advocacy, negotiation and settlements, things that are not terribly well suited to have a faculty member teach,” said Leo Martinez, Hastings’ academic dean. And most take to it very quickly, Martinez said, since the most challenging problem is perhaps encountering a student who tries to monopolize the class. “Being seasoned practitioners, they usually don’t have too much trouble with that,” Martinez said.

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