What will the future landscape of law look like in 2025?
For Amy Simpson, the Head of Thought Leadership and Content Strategy for legal research company LexisNexis, the future looks flexible. This is due to advances in technology, from automation to artificial intelligence to legal, which will transform legal practice substantially.
“Mobility will likely change the working practices of both companies and law firms, with the concept of cross-border commuters — people living and working in different countries — becoming more prominent,” she wrote.
With a stronger emphasis placed on workplace mobility, law schools in the US and beyond will be expected to produce agile, flexi-lawyers who know how to navigate online work and collaboration.
Company culture will also be a force to reckon with in the future of law.
“The future landscape could be one where businesses will need to compete more on company culture and environments that blend work and life seamlessly,” Simpson wrote.
“Factors such as increased focus on work-life balance, mental health, agile working and the ability to work remotely, will all be key to a company’s future success.”
How can law schools of today prepare for these predictions of the profession?
For one, they should provide a balanced curriculum that shapes itself around students’ schedules.
By offering more part-time courses or transition to online learning, this will allow students to pursue their education without neglecting life’s commitments.
And by providing more industry insights through internships, placements or client-based projects, law graduates will have a headstart not just on the hard skills the profession demands but also the soft skills.
These future-oriented law schools are the ones who will have the upper hand in producing practice-ready graduates by 2025.
Find out which law schools in the US are producing practice-ready graduates…
Ever since its founding, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, the only law school in Denver, Colorado, has produced agile and practice-ready graduates who are ready to take on the future world of work.
The College has a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning — one of the best in the United States.
It is the nation’s only law school with three experiential learning programmes ranked among the top 10 programmes for consecutive years in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Graduate School Rankings: Legal writing (seventh), Clinical training (eighth) and Trial advocacy (ninth).
“I cannot say enough about the incredible importance of hands-on learning. The university gets this more than other schools and excels at creating programmes to truly educate students in the practice of law, not just the study of it,” says Jessica Longtin, a Juris Doctor (JD) degree alumna.
Some of these programmes can be taken via distance learning, such as the Professional Part-Time JD Programme, for which up to one-third is conducted online and in-person sessions take place on alternating weekends. This allows working professionals to advance their careers from virtually any location.
So if you want to be a leading legal practitioner in the future landscape of law, team up and acquire in-demand workplace skills with the Sturm College of Law today.
One of the leading law schools in the US, the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University, has rolled out many different teaching methods to encourage their future legal practitioners to be flexible.
For instance, the School’s Business Law Society has converted some of its entrepreneur pop-up clinics to virtual sessions so that students can participate from their homes.
And as a whole, the university has shifted to distance learning in response to the global pandemic and to help them cater to future career expectations ie. flexibility and in-demand virtual skills.
The School also believes that today’s lawyers require a hands-on learning approach in addition to their coursework so they are able to comprehensive approach practice and research.
Therefore, their courses are industry-relevant and encourage learners to grow a global perspective while practising law.
Since 1878, the law department at the University of California has prepared lawyers for the ever-changing practice of law in the heart of San Francisco.
Now, the UC Hastings College of Law equips students from all over the world with the capability to leverage opportunities that today’s legal world offers.
Through a hands-on diverse legal education, UC Hastings graduates not only thrive in traditional legal careers but find crossover success as healthcare policymakers, bioethics experts, digital media entrepreneurs and much more.
From an on-campus LL.M degree to a fully online Masters of Science, Health Policy and Law degree, there’s a course to suit every aspiring legal practitioner at UC Hastings.
And by utilising their passion for both theory and practice of law at one of the leading law schools in the US, students will undoubtedly become capable advocates for their future clients.
At the Houston Law Centre, flexible learning isn’t just adopted by students — it’s adopted by the faculty too.
This may be demonstrated by the recent global pandemic which has pushed the Centre to conduct meetings, classes and faculty discussions virtually.
By switching to online education, students here get to sharpen their virtual skills, communication skills, remote working skills and global awareness.
This builds on the Centre’s history of expanding students’ global awareness through their overseas study opportunities.
At Houston Law Centre, you will not only get to study at one of the leading law schools in the US, but you’ll also be located in Houston — one of the nation’s top legal markets.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International.