As lawyers seek to find more-lucrative jobs that keep pace with today’s market demands, more law schools are beginning to offer business classes for lawyers. The New York Times reported that Brooklyn Law School partnered with Deloitte Financial Advisory Services to offer boot camp-style classes in reading financial statements and basic accounting principles. Cornell University Law School offers a similar program called “Business Concepts for Lawyers,” a 1-credit course which offers basic information on valuation and other business concepts.
Law schools have often seen themselves as a contrast to business school – the practice of law has traditionally relied on research and writing more than team work and statistical models. But, as more document review is being outsourced and the practice of law becomes more enmeshed with business, law schools are responding in kind. Last year, Harvard Law School conducted a study asking 124 employers, “What courses should law students take?” Their overwhelming response? Corporate finance and accounting, as well as business strategy and teamwork.
As you being your preparations for law school application season, consider whether you can begin to gain these business tools now. Look for classes in accounting and other coursework or internships that focus on working as part of a team.
Jessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels.