Helping new lawyers

Posted by on Mar 6, 2014 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

So, I have said before that I started LearningLawyer because of the frustrations of trying to train new lawyers. Non-lawyers seem to have this idea that law school actually teaches people how to practice law. It doesn’t. I don’t even think it’s supposed to. Law students and lawyers are supposed to get practical experience in the profession by learning from other lawyers.

There are a lot of big problems with that.

One is that the type of person who goes to law school and succeeds is usually pretty competitive. This equals  a type of personality that is “not good at sharing.”

Two is that law school is graded on a hard curve, so the worse your classmates do, the better you do. This equals an environment that fosters the side of people that is “not good at sharing.” Example: One time during law school I had someone promise to exchange outlines and notes with me. I sent him all my stuff. He sent me his stuff an hour before the final. Whatever. I found other people there…a few other people…who were more willing to work together. I found a few really awesome people, too. But still, overall…not good at sharing.

Three is that law jobs are in scarce supply relative to the number of law students graduating and passing the bar. I know law students who graduated at the top of the class who have never gotten a job as a lawyer. This equals broke people with high student loan debt who are “not good at sharing.”

Law looks deceptively simple. I’ve lost count of people who tell me that “Immigration law is easy, you just do paperwork.” That’s like saying that understanding gravity is easy because “What goes up must come down.” Basically what I’m saying here is that people do not know what they don’t know.

The best way to learn law that you don’t know (practical law), is by learning from other lawyers.

But many lawyers are not good at sharing.

You can see how this can be a difficult situation. I think this situation will inevitably change. We have been living in the information age for a while now, and eventually law will catch up. I can see this happening with We started with more immigration law stuff, but now I’m seeing more in other areas, like some family law stuff. There are these big Family law packs on Custody and Child Support. This is the kind of basic information that all lawyers should be able to get access to in an efficient manner.

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