By Tony Flesor, LAW WEEK COLORADO
According to the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, the future of law school is in experiential education.
In the organization’s newest report, “Ahead of the Curve: Turning Law Students Into Lawyers,” released Thursday, IAALS examines the Daniel Webster Scholars Honors Program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, a two-year program that focuses on putting students through their paces designed to teach students to practice law and culminates in an evaluation of their progress, in place of the bar exam, to admit them to the state bar.
The University of New Hampshire program is a response to the traditional law school model and the criticisms that go with that; it has become common to question whether law schools prepare students to actually be lawyers and the expense they undertake in order to receive a law degree. The program is one of many that seeks to break free from the traditional model and create practice-ready grads.
The Daniel Webster program puts its 24 scholars through two years of practice courses such as pretrial advocacy, which pits groups of students against each other in mock litigation, a course focused on negotiation skills and and a course focused on the formation, financing, operations and selling of businesses.