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Educating Law Students to be Business Leaders

Submitted by Robert Rosen on Thu, 04-28-2011
Long title
What law graduates who became executives say is present and lacking in legal education
Robert Eli Rosen
Author(s)' contact information
School of Law
University of Miami
Coral Gables FL 33124
Conference title
Conference location
United States
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What skills does legal education provide that can enable graduates to succeed in careers outside of law? What coursework is relevant outside legal practice? How can law graduates market themselves to succeed in business? This article seeks to being answering these questions. Events within the legal marketplace make the questions that it raises ever more pressing.
This article is based on a survey conducted with major corporate executives who possessed as their only graduate degree a J.D. They were asked how their legal education prepared them to be business executives. They were asked to suggest how legal education ought to be reoriented to be of more use to graduates whose careers would take them into corporate management.
General Counsel and members of corporate legal departments were excluded from this survey. Half of the respondents who now work as business executives had spent a portion of their careers in legal practice. Factor analysis is used to explicate the skills the respondents report law students need to develop for success in business.