In your opinion, what skills and knowledge should law schools focus on to better prepare students for in-house legal roles?

Business and financial acumen50%

Knowledge of industry specific regulations and standards0%

Contract drafting and negotiation skills0%

Project management skills50%

Communication and interpersonal skills0%

Data privacy and cybersecurity knowledge0%

Other (comment below)50%


53 views1 Upvote2 Comments

Legal Operations Counsel & Innovation Strategist in Services (non-Government), 10,001+ employees
Project management, legal design, business management/basic corporate finance fundamentals, and legal operations are all important. 
VP of Legal in Manufacturing, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
From the perspective of an in-house attorney, there needs to be a more significant focus on drafting and revising contracts. While every law student takes a "Contracts 101” class, there needs to be more emphasis on writing, drafting, reviewing, editing, and negotiating contracts -- because no matter what area of law you get into, you will have to deal with contracts. Contracts can be anything from a will to an employment offer to a waiver or a non-disclosure agreement. Yes, contract construction and interpretation are crucial, but an emphasis on writing skills is needed to draft contracts as well. Writing skills have been lost since the advent of e-mail and all the different ways of communicating by shorthand (e.g., text, zoom, chat, etc.).

Additionally, the third year of law school should either be eliminated or an internship year. It should be more hands-on, real-world training or preparation before graduating. That third year seems like another year of tuition for the school, but I would cut it all together or change it fundamentally where you’re not in the classroom much but are out practicing or trying to practice. In this scenario, you probably would not even be in the classroom; you're in the workforce. You can pick up so much more that way. I acknowledge that a fundamental understanding of the law - establishing how to spot issues, read cases, and do research - is essential, but that’s where I would encourage students to focus their attention.

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Innovation - There's a structured process to contribute an idea and see the eventual outcome and decisions53%

People - Our company finds it difficult to do any of the above33%

People - Laggards hold things back but certain people and teams make it happen31%

General - We find it difficult to do any of the above15%

IT - We are held back from most of the above by legacy systems and a dependence on IT24%

Processes and Workflow - We've reached a point where email, chat and documentation have been replaced with accountable tasking and repeatable processes17%

Processes and Workflow - We publish processes or documentation and try to keep it up-to-date13%

Something else (comments below)1%


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Team Work (lack of)37%

Personal Time (not enough)56%

Professional Development (need more)46%

Team Retreat (need to re-connect)19%

Tech Education/Simplification12%


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