One Way to Keep Lawyer Numbers Down

Willens Law Offices, based in Chicago, is offering an “Anything But Law School Graduate Scholarship” worth $1,000.

“Some of you may be wondering, why would a law firm create a scholarship to dissuade students from practicing law?” Matthew Willens wrote in the online press release. “The answer is simple; we currently do not have enough jobs to be able to effectively train the current number of freshly minted lawyers in our profession. To protect the reputation of our profession, Willens Law Offices has created this scholarship to persuade undergraduates to pursue another graduate degree for a limited time.”

Could this catch on here?

H/T ABA Journal, and Instapundit



Junior Doctors Forced Outside Competence?

The Daily Telegraph suggests that some 23% of junior doctors are “forced to cope with problems beyond their clinical competence or experience”. This is based on research by the General Medical Council.

This is in part connected with the working time limit of 48 hours per week, where two-thirds exceed that limit. Additionally 31% are taking longer to achieve competence as a result.

It is always interesting to compare experiences with other professions. The law is not generally a life-and-death issue to the same extent as medicine, so there are differences. Yet I am reminded of Glanville Williams’s saying (in Learning the Law) that if we learned everything necessary to be a good lawyer before qualifying, nobody would be a solicitor before they were 37. I do not think that medical problems always come in neat defined packages, any more than legal problems do, and I rather want my professionals to be able to cope with the unexpected. I particularly want them to identify when they are outside their experience ad knowledge, and to be able to act appropriately. That means adding to their knowledge, and being prepared to ask for assistance from someone who does.

Reaction from doctors would be interesting.

Slump in Number of Law Students

According to the Lawyer, the number of students applying to study law has gone down by a record 5.2%, using UCAS figures. There had been a sharp increase in applications following the banking collapse in 2008.

In fairness to the Law Society (a phrase not used that often) they have been warning prospective students that finding a training contract is difficult, so not all law students will qualify. And I have not seen that students are suing law schools for misrepresenting the likelihood of a successful career, as has happened in the USA.

Yes, all this is in the context of an overall decline in university applications of 9%, caused by tuition fee increases. It still means fewer lawyers in the pipeline. What students need to realise though is that a law degree is a good stand alone qualification. It is challenging, and trains the mind. And the more traditional understand what it is. There is no necessity to go along the tram lines to a legal career, unless that is what you want to do.

Do we have too many lawyers? That is another discussion.