LSU law school to stress apprenticeship

For one week in January, some of LSU’s Herbert M. Law Center students will engage in small and intense “mini-courses” taught by “master lawyers” and judges.

The courses are designed to prepare them for the situations they will encounter as practicing attorneys but aren’t generally covered in law school coursework.

During the inaugural Apprenticeship Week students have opportunities for a variety of courses including: “Effective Representation of Oil & Gas Clients,” “The Art of Judging” and “Managing the Personal Injury Case,” according to a news release.

The new program is aimed at addressing concerns coming from the American Bar Association that clients seeking legal services are reluctant to pay for work done by lawyers fresh out of law school, in part, because some of them graduate without the skills needed to complete basic legal tasks.

In response, law schools have begun moving away from offering a purely academics-based curriculum and are now incorporating more practical training into the coursework.

LSU Law Center Chancellor Jack Weiss said he expects Apprenticeship Week to become a part of the law school’s curriculum.

“For much of our history, lawyers were trained by serving as apprentices to the accomplished lawyers of the day,” Weiss said. “These veterans shared with their apprentices the legal know-how and judgment that only comes with experience. Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Webster, Justice Robert Jackson and many other luminaries were trained through the apprenticeship system.”

Apprenticeship Week runs from Jan. 6-10. Visit: www.law.lsu.edu for more information.