The Legal Beat
Teaching You What Law School Doesn’t
Posted on Monday May 22, 2017
Despite three long years of cold calling, outlines, and exams, any attorney will tell you that law school doesn’t actually train you be a practicing lawyer. Indeed, we have written about this more than on a few occasions. The bar exam is arguably even less on-point when it comes to learning what you really need to know to be a successful associate.
For decades, associates have been wishing there was something that would train them to enter the workforce prepared for the job of actual lawyering. Thanks to the folks at Associate Advantage, that wish is now coming true.
Offering a learn-by-doing approach, Associate Advantage is essentially a crash course in Law Firm 101 for new and junior associates. “Success through simulation” is the name of the game, and the programs offer intensive training for both corporate and litigation associates who want to hit the ground running.
Practical Training on Your Terms at the Right Price
The harsh reality is that law firms really wish you already knew how to be a lawyer, but don’t take the time to focus on the training that would get you there. Associate Advantage is the closest thing you can get to real job experience before you actually start your job.
Taught by current top mid-level and senior associates from an impressive roster of top law firms, the curriculum, discussed in detail below, was designed around one simple question — what do real associates wish they’d known when they started out? Through comprehensive checklists, useful examples, and practical instruction, you’ll have a head start and go into your first assignment knowing what you need to get the job done, when you need it, and where to look for it.
Better yet, the two-day intensive, interactive simulation courses are designed to fit your busy schedule. In-person classes are offered in Washington, D.C., for those who prefer the traditional classroom environment. If online learning is more your thing, you have two options. You can watch the courses webinar-style, which allows you the ability to participate in class discussions and follow-up Q&As from the comfort of your couch. If you’re finding it hard to find two whole consecutive days free on your calendar, you can opt instead to view a video of the class for up to a week after it’s offered live, complete with the ability to stop and start at your leisure.
The courses aren’t only flexible, they’re also affordable. With different price levels offered for the various course formats, as well as discounts for groups, Associate Advantage won’t break the bank. They understand that most recent graduates aren’t flush with cash, and they’ve streamlined their program to make it the most affordable and accessible on the market. Whatever your schedule or budget, there’s an Associate Advantage option for you. In addition, you will receive discounted rates if you sign up by May 31, 2017.
A Potentially Rude Awakening
Your first few months at a law firm can be a difficult and disorienting time. The highs of graduating, landing a job, and passing the bar wear off quickly the first time you’re thrown into an assignment you don’t know how to handle. Sure, you took Civil Procedure, but what does it mean to actually work on discovery or draft pleadings? Chances are, like every new associate, you have absolutely no idea.
That’s where Associate Advantage comes in. The intensive programs are designed to tell you exactly what your roles and expectations will be.
Associate Advantage isn’t like most typical trainings, which are taught by attorneys who, while undoubtedly experienced, started practicing a long time ago and aren’t up-to-date on the demands today’s associates face. Associate Advantage’s instructors are current top associates at elite firms who are in the thick of things and know how assignments at law firms are run. Their goal is to give you the know-how you need to excel at real-world law firm practice.
Associate Advantage gives you the tangible, practical roadmaps you need to reduce the stress of junior associate life while getting a jump on your competition. You’ll walk out of the 2-day course with the knowledge, skills, and mindset you need to thrive in a law firm.
Honing Associates for Real-Life Practice
Being given assignments that you don’t understand can be a stressful and isolating experience. If your first project seems like it may as well have been written in Greek, you’re not alone. It has nothing to do with your ability, and everything to do with the fact that nothing in the three years of law school adequately trained you for this moment.
Enter Associate Advantage. Their training programs are designed to give you a sense of what to expect when you walk into the firm on your first day, plus the ability to contextualize your assignment, and predict the needs of the senior attorneys on your team. Whether you’re a transactional or litigation associate, the curriculum breaks down not only the types of assignments you might see, but the typical duties that will likely be your responsibility on those assignments.
From filing a complaint to discovery to motion practice, the litigation session covers it all. For example, while you already know the kinds of pleadings that are involved in a case, Associate Advantage will tell you what actually goes into preparing them and the day-to-day realities of what that means for a new associate. Here is a snap shot of part of the litigation curriculum:
Discovery Part 1
- Overview of discovery
- Rules governing
- Drafting/responding to interrogatories
- Drafting/responding to request for production
- Drafting/responding to requests for admission
- Junior associate duties in these tasks
- Roadmap for success
The same is true for transactional associates. While Civ Pro is at least required, corporate law classes are usually electives, meaning that your law school exposure to corporate issues is likely minimal at best. Thankfully, Associate Advantage offers valuable insight on everything from an overview of corporate transactions in general, conducting due diligence, to the nitty gritty of working on your first Letter of Intent, merger, or SEC filing. A sample of the transactional curriculum includes:
Anatomy of a Merger Agreement/ Financing Agreement
- Analyze and understand the typical sections of MA
- Analyze and understand the typical sections of a FA
- Typical junior attorney duties related to text of these agreements
- Developing a roadmap for success
There’s undoubtedly a huge learning curve at law firms, but it doesn’t need to be as big as it is. The expertly honed Associate Advantage curricula allow you to contextualize most typical junior associate assignments, whether you’re thrown onto a transactional deal at day one or added to a trial team in the middle of discovery.
In sum, the folks at the Associate Advantage teach you what law school doesn’t. These courses are the law firm survival guide you need to start your career off right.
By Stephanie Wilkins