SOURCE: Law Offices of Mark B. Baer

July 26, 2011 06:00 ET

Law Schools Are Producing Poorly-Trained Lawyers Says L.A. Family Law Attorney Mark Baer

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 26, 2011) - "Law schools train attorneys to spot problems but not how to solve them," says L.A. Family Law Attorney Mark Baer. "By teaching lawyers to identify problems but not training them to solve problems, the practice of law has shifted from resolving conflict to creating it. This is particularly detrimental in cases dealing with children and families as it causes wounds that often last a lifetime."

Mr. Baer notes that historically, a lawyer's role was to resolve disputes, not to create them. "The profession of law was created to resolve conflict in a civilized manner rather than through bloodshed or violence," says Mr. Baer. "However, as Larry Kramer, Dean of Stanford Law School, points out, in 1891 it was first determined that more practical skills needed to be taught in law school. In essence, the only thing they teach you in law school is how to pass the Bar Exam."

Since law schools, historically, have not taught problem-solving skills, the American Bar Association advises lawyers-to-be that they must enter law school with a reasonably well developed set of analytic and problem-solving abilities in order to become a competent lawyer. The ABA suggests that lawyers take the initiative to learn analytic/problem solving skills, a basic understanding of human behavior and social interactions and listening abilities. However, since it is not mandated that anyone learn these skills to receive a law degree, Baer believes that most lawyers do not learn such skills. Consequently, this has created a lower standard of lawyering where rather than focusing on solving the original problem, lawyers instead create more problems and rack up billable hours doing so.

In The Wall Street Journal's July 11th issue, the article "Law Schools Get Practical" reports that some law schools are now replacing textbook courses with classes that teach problem-solving as well as interpersonal, negotiation, and counseling skills.

"I don't mean to imply that all lawyers are lacking in problem-solving skills," he says. "In fact, many attorneys who practice law have obtained outside problem-solving experience through mediation training programs or through other means." The ABA lists several ways an attorney can gain these skills on its website.

In summation, he advises those seeking an attorney to make sure the attorney they select has experience in problem-solving because without these skills, an attorney is not considered competent, as defined by the American Bar Association. Moreover, one can wind up paying huge fees and be unsatisfied with the outcome.

Mark B. Baer has practiced law in Los Angeles for twenty years with an office in Pasadena, CA. His firm represents individuals on issues regarding family law, divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, restraining orders, paternity actions, or domestic partnerships. For more information, please visit: www.markbaeresq.com

Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:
    Mark B. Baer, Esq.
    (626) 389-8929
    E-mail: Email Contact