LexisNexis recently released a white paper about a study of 300 hiring partners and senior associates in law firms about what skills were most desired in new lawyers. Although they agree that new lawyers have mastered basic legal research skills, 95% of respondents believe recent law grads lack key practical skills to jump right in and help with client matters. Practical skills needed include the ability to “understand fundamental business and financial concepts, conduct due diligence, find forms/checklists, draft simple contracts and agreements, and locate company information.”
The paper states that most young associates spend between 40% and 60% of their time conducting legal research, yet respondents feel advanced legal research skills were typically lacking among new associates.
Below is the executive summary with links to the full report, (as reported on llb2.com).
Law Schools and individual faculty are in the process of revising their curriculum and classes to address the demand for more practice-ready graduates. But what are the most desired research, writing and transactional skills and how can law schools develop these skills most effectively? An independent survey was conducted by 5 Square Research, Inc. and funded by LexisNexis®, to answer these questions and more.
The result is a new white paper, Hiring partners reveal new attorney readiness for real world practice, which shares the responses of 300 hiring partners and associates from small to large law firms practicing in litigation and transactional law.
Key findings include:
- 96% believe that newly graduated law students lack practical skills related to litigation and transactional practice.
- 66% deem writing and drafting skills highly important with emphasis on motions, briefs and pleadings
- Newer attorneys spend 40% – 60% of their time conducting legal research
- 88% of hiring partners think proficiency using “paid for” research services is highly important
- Students lack advanced legal research skills in the areas of statutory law, regulations, legislation and more…
- The most important transactional skills include business and financial concepts, due diligence, drafting contracts and more…
- A law firm spends approximately $19,000 per year, on average, to train a new associate
This study reveals the most important and most lacking practical skills desired by legal employers and will help inform law schools of the specific content and tasks they can integrate into applicable classes and experiential learning programs pursuant to employer demand and the new ABA standards.
Read the full article with charts, Hiring partners reveal new attorney readiness for real world practice, or view this Executive Overview Prezi*.