Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Value of Real World Experience Before Law School

The day I returned from Rome we were discussing modern merger theory and enforcement. in antitrust class  One of the cases was a difficult excerpt from the Oracle/Peoplesoft decision.  Its a difficult case primarily because the judge has an exceptionally unhelpful factual description of the different software products involved, including lots of similar sounding abbreviations and acronyms for different products. 

Fortunately, one of my students who rarely talks raised her hand and explained that she had worked before law school at a consulting firm that advised clients on these types of back office software suites.  She was much clearer, than either the book or my jet lag addled brain, why the judge in her view was simply wrong as the likely post-acquisition effects of the merger and even answered a number of questions from other students. 

Beyond being grateful for her presence and lucidity, it got me thinking that while most students now work for a year or two before law school, it's not clear to me they work at the positions most helpful to their future legal studies.  It also has me more sympathetic to the Northwestern Law approach that at least two years of meaningful work is a virtual prerequisite for admission ala business school.

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