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Photo credit: Kelly Mackinnon

I caught Kevin O’Keefe‘s recent piece challenging law school leaders in an Above the Law piece, Law Schools Are Not Exposing Students To Real World Business Development

If you’re a law school leader, ask yourself if you truly understand what students need for the road ahead. Have you spoken with the business development people in law firms who are charged with helping lawyers become a lawyer with a book of business? Are you helping law students who want to work in small and medium-size firms distinguish themselves? And for those grads wanting to go solo, are you exposing them as to how to get business today?

It’s amazing to me that law schools produce a product (law students) without understanding how the business of law operates. The leaders might understand how the ultimate end user uses the service, but not how the factory works.

Kevin is challenging the law school leaders in his piece, I’m challenging my peers who work in the business of law in mine.

Perhaps it’s time that we take a lesson from our general counsel peers:

  • Where are the panels of law firm leaders educating law school educators and administrators on how the business of law works?
  • Are law schools hiring legal marketers and other legal administrative professionals who understand how law firm operate as businesses?
  • I’m sure law schools have a professional association. How many of us are speaking at their conferences? Local programs?
  • How many of us are building and developing relationships with the law schools? Professors? Administrators?
  • What publications do they read? Are we writing in them?
  • For those who are on Twitter, or LinkedIn, or Facebook … are we connecting with them? Building relationships?

General counsel are out there BEGGING law firms to better understand their industry and how their business works? When law firms listen, magic (and business development) happens.

If law schools are not preparing the law students we need, who are not educated on the business of law, perhaps it’s time for us who are the business of law to step up and do some educating.

Interesting question to begin my day.