of changes in the legal services market
yet students are arriving on cam-
pus ill-prepared to handle the academic program law schools have set in
place to ensure that graduates are “practice ready.
In response to these issues, this essay develops two points. Part II de-
scribes a number of deficiencies common to first year law students. While
the list of deficiencies discussed here is not exhaustive, it does represent
the most significant challenges l have seen students encounter. Part III
suggests ideas law schools can implement that will provide more support-
ive environments for law students, without diluting the rigor of their pro-
grams. Such environments will empower students to be less concerned
with merely surviving their first year and more capable of thriving through-
out the experience and meeting their clients’ needs upon graduation.
II. First-Year Law Students are Underprepared
I doubt the preceding statement will surprise anyone, not even first-year law
students. Invariably, as I meet with students during their first year of school,
they report they had no idea what to expect from their legal education, and
that their previous educational experiences did little to prepare them for the
rigors of law school. I hear related sentiments from professors as I discuss
students’ classroom and exam performances with them. They report that
2 Patrick Meyer,
Law Firm Legal Research Requirements for New Attorneys
3 See Ian Gallacher,
“Who are Those Guys?” the Results of a Survey Studying the In-
formation Literacy of Incoming Law Students
Cathaleen M. Roach,
Is the Sky Falling? Ruminations on Incoming Law Student Pre-
paredness in the Wake of Recent National and Other Reports
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