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Law schools adapt to changing role of the GC, finally

Posted by: Laurence Simons 30/10/12

So can we all agree yet that the role of the general counsel is changing? Good. Because as Corporate Counsel reports, the role of GC is so different to how it was five years ago that even law schools are reacting to the changes. And as a whole new generation of GCs go up through the ranks and prove how vital they can be for in-house departments, law schools are restructuring their curriculum to give more hands-on, real-world teaching to future attorneys, partners and GCs.

"Law schools are realising that students need more experience-based learning," said Law.com's Susan Reisinger. "That's especially true for those who plan to be in-house counsel, because the role has changed so drastically in the past decade under the influence of powerful laws like Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank."

As the American Bar Association's William Robinson III noted earlier this month, law schools have to react to the market if they are going to churn out legal graduates with even a hope of getting a job in the stalling market. And as a result, the ABA has put together a task force - including Jolene Yee, associate GC for E. and J. Gallo Winery - to review and make recommendations on the state of legal education. "A lot of things that make a good lawyer are things that you almost only learn on the job," says Yee. Yes, well. That sort of goes for every job.