UMKC

In the good old days, an aspiring lawyer could just read the law under the tutelage of an existing member of the bar. Then, around the beginning of the twentieth century, the ABA and AALS teamed up to begin requiring that wannabe lawyers graduate from law school as a barrier to entry. This was, I presume, mostly a barrier to entry, which I also presume actually worked at some point.

Fast-forward about ninety years to 1992, when the ABA finally figured out that they’d created a mess, formed a task force, and issued a long-winded report, to which law schools responded by creating more “real world” credit options for students. Well, it’s almost 2011, and the process still isn’t working.

Newly minted lawyers are, for the most part, still woefully unprepared to actually practice law. Enter the recession, and now we have thousands of graduates a year, some of whom are attempting to simultaneously solve their unemployment issues and bridge the chasm between legal theory and legal practice by opening their own practices right out of law school.

As an aside, I was amused that one of the ABA articles I found mentioned Harvard’s efforts at reform as including the requirement that first-year students “take courses in legislation, international law, and problem solving in addition to more traditional classes.” Gee, thanks Harvard.

Well, say what you will about their ranking, but at least the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law is taking the problem seriously….

UPDATE: CUNY is also taking things seriously, i.e., incubating its graduates, and has been doing so since 2007 (thanks to one of my readers for the tip).
double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bridging the Gap: UMKC Law Opens a Solo and Small Firm Incubator”

sarah buckley and alexandra hutchings b & h.jpgThe number of attorneys looking for jobs continues to grow each month. And we can’t help running into them in New York, ground zero for attorney layoffs. We asked one Thacher refugee whether he had thought about banding together with other jobless legal eagles to start their own venture. “Too junior, not interested,” he replied.

Well, that’s not stopping two recent law grads from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The Kansas City Star reports that Sarah Buckley and Alexandra Hutchings were unable to find work after passing the Missouri bar exam last year, so they’ve started their own firm: Buckley & Hutchings, LLC:

The question remains, though, whether they are an exception or — as more law school grads find a serious shortage of law firm jobs — the start of a trend.

Are these bright-eyed, bushy-tailed UMKC grads blazing a novel trail? More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Can’t find work? Start your own firm.”