Teach Business Concepts

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Long title: 
Law Schools' Obligation to Teach Business and Financial Concepts and Quantitative Analysis: Taking Aim at Preparing Competent Lawyers
Author(s): 
Silver, Carole
Rocconi, Louis
Author(s)' contact information: 
Indiana University, USA Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
Conference title: 
International Legal Ethics Conference VI
Conference location: 
City University London
Country: 
USA
Year: 
2014

In order to adequately represent business clients, lawyers must have the means to understand business, including, in many cases, the financial concepts that frame business decisions and explain their results. At the same time, lawyers representing many kinds of clients, and who work in a variety of substantive areas of practice, must use numerical information to support their arguments and present their cases. Law schools, however, have not developed expertise in teaching these subjects to law students, and this has been one focus of criticism of legal education in the last several years.
Several schools have developed programs to respond to these deficits, and more are sure to follow. But before celebrating the response and solution, it is crucial to have a means of assessing progress so that we can learn whether these new initiatives actually are contributing to better preparing new graduates to work in contexts in which business and financial concepts and quantitative analyses are important. In this paper, we describe the results of one effort to establish a baseline understanding about law students’ learning related to business and financial concepts and quantitative analyses. The results suggest that law schools have a substantial amount of work to do in order to satisfy the obligation of preparing students to effectively use quantitative information and business and financial concepts.

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