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What is a “Law School Incubator”?

Lately, critics have noted that law students are entering the workforce without the needed skills it takes to become a successful attorney. It takes time to gain these needed sets of skills, and many law firms do not have the time to train the incoming first year attorneys. In recent times, law schools have been taking this issue into their own hands, and giving students the opportunity to gain work skills and training opportunities while still enrolled/before entering the job market.

Within the past couple of years, there have been a number of law schools in California and other states that have started to fund startup law firms. Since then, about 24 “legal incubators” or fellowships programs have come to life to teach select law graduates the basics of the legal profession. These programs also help clients who may not be able to afford a full priced attorney for their legal needs.

In addition, many of these programs teach law students how to set up their own private practices. The main idea of these fellowship programs is to give law students support that was not readily available in the past. The programs provide the students a place where they can ask the real life questions they may not encounter in the classroom.

Critics of the program fear that these programs will not boost law employment in the future since the programs can only help a small number of students at a time. Many of the programs are designed to help individuals rather than a mass amount of students. Some critics are suggesting moving and incorporating these “incubators” into the law school curriculum so they can reach out to and helps a larger number of future attorneys.

It is said that a number of law schools are planning on joining the legal fellowship movement in the near future as startups and will be working alongside law schools. It can be scary going out and beginning your law career despite how much you learned in law school. These fellowships and “incubators” will hopefully relieve some of the stress that comes along with becoming a first year attorney.

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