No matter who you are, talking in front of people can be nerve-racking sometimes. But you’ve got to do it. Whether it be for class, for a presentation at your summer internship, or actually standing up in court, every law student has to speak in front of other people at some point during their law school career. Many law schools provide opportunities for students to practice these skills in the form of oral advocacy competitions. When those competitions come around, you should participate in all of the ones you can. Here’s why. [Read more…] about Get on Your Feet! Why Oral Advocacy Competitions Should be on Your To-Do List
It wouldn’t surprise anybody if most law students come into their first year dreading the specter of a cold call in a contracts lecture. That imagery of the Socratic method is seared into the history of the legal profession and the schoolwork that prepares us for that profession. But times change. And as the world changes, so does the legal profession (albeit at a much slower pace). Your professor who has been teaching contracts for 1,000 years may be an expert in the development of the common law of the statute of frauds. But will she know whether a text message counts as a “signed writing” in small-claims court in the city where you live for the purpose of overcoming the statute of frauds? That’s not quite as likely.
The best way for you to learn how to really be a lawyer in the 21st century is to do the job before you actually have the job. You can do this by taking a class with a practical or hands-on component. Here are a few reasons why hands-on classes like clinics, practicums, externships, etc. should definitely be on your list for next year.