Talk to any practicing lawyer about his or her law school experience and you will hear the same story: “When I graduated, I didn’t know anything about practicing law.” It’s a great one-liner that provokes many knowing smiles. It’s also completely ridiculous.

Highlighting the gap between classroom and workplace does capture a well-understood truth. There’s much more to learn about lawyering than one can absorb in three years poring over casebooks. Law schools are wisely moving to speed the learning process with creative new approaches to experiential legal education. And law firms have adopted innovative training programs that introduce new lawyers to subjects often neglected in law schools, such as basic finance and business strategy. These salutary developments arise from the near universal consensus that many law graduates are unprepared to assume significant client responsibilities from day one.

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