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Saturday, January 23, 2010

LLM in entrepreneurial law

There was an interesting story in the National Law Journal a couple of days ago about such programs and a developing trend of using the law degree (either JD or LLM) as good basis for starting companies rather than joining law firms. Here's an excerpt:

A handful of U.S. law schools are getting into the entrepreneurial spirit.

Duke Law School announced on Thursday that it will launch a new Law and Entrepreneurship LLM program next academic year, while the University of Colorado School of Law is awaiting approval of a Entrepreneurial Law LLM it hopes to debut in the fall.

Courses and clinics focused on entrepreneurship and emerging companies aren't uncommon at law schools, but these new ventures would be the first LLM programs in the United States to focus expressly on the skills attorneys need to advise start-up companies or become entrepreneurs themselves.

James Cox, a law professor and the faculty director of Duke's new LLM program, said the timing is right for these programs because students and lawyers are taking a broader view of their career prospects.

"You're increasingly finding more law schools graduates who want to go out into the business world rather than go sit behind a desk at a law firm," he said.

I wonder if another development in law schools might be more emphasis on law firm management, focusing on solo and small firm practice, as students become more entrepreneurial and independent (from large and medium law firms) in their choice of legal career paths. I also wonder whether developments such as these might make law schools less reliant on large firms in placing their graduates and less tied to such firms more generally.

Posted by Jeff Yates on January 23, 2010 at 09:42 AM | Permalink

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Comments

You just wait, they will offer JD/MBA joint program at quadruple tuition rate in upcoming rates. It feels as if Duke had nothing better to come up with.

Posted by: Wikilawschool | Jan 24, 2010 10:12:21 AM

Does it make for students to pile on more tuition (and implicitly more leverage due to expensive student loans) to acquire an additional credential, when bound for a higher risk/more variable cash flow career path (as opposed to lower risk firm practice), in a career path where formal credentials matter less?

Career path tracking during 2L and 3L years of law school (and particularly in summers where firm bound lawyers do summer clerkships) makes more sense as a way to meet this need.

These programs make more sense geared to future investment bankers focused on IPOs (and perhaps venture capital firm/angel investor representation work) than it does for folks actually planning to start their own firms or advise those who are doing so. This is essentially the same niche where the MBA has thrived and shown value.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Jan 25, 2010 1:29:31 PM

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