find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Universities fail to keep pace with industry

Universities fail to keep pace with industry

Anthony Lieu, Beyond Law

Law schools continue to promote traditional roles that create narrow-minded students, but graduates are increasingly seeking New Law and other industry opportunities.

New research from online legal job board Beyond Law has revealed law graduates are looking beyond the traditional legal roles as job prospects remain at all-time lows.

Beyond Law managing director Anthony Lieu (pictured) said law students often only hear about commercial law positions at university and remain uninformed of the various opportunities that exist.

“That can create a narrow mindset, which continues throughout law school and then finally they figure out towards the end that maybe there are other opportunities out there,” Mr Lieu said.

Mr Lieu believes that while the academic side of law school is suitable for teaching legal theory and black letter law, universities need to continue to offer more support services and help in developing practical skills.

“In the past few years a lot of law schools now offer elective courses with a stronger practical component. By letting law students work in a practical environment, they are able to find a bit more outside the traditional sphere where they can use their law degree.”

New Law demands a different skillset that isn't taught in law schools, according to Mr Lieu, which is problematic in that universities aren't preparing their students for the current state of the legal industry.

“The legal sector is undergoing significant structural change: the globalisation of the legal profession, cost-cutting by legal firms, offshoring and outsourcing of legal work, commoditization of legal services and competition of non-legal or online providers.”

He added: “As the industry’s changing, I definitely think universities need to keep up and at the same time promote the opportunities as they emerge.”

Mr Lieu said while universities are “slowly coming around to providing more resources for students to understand where they can use their degree”, there are multiple stakeholders that have to come together to implement change.

The responsibility falls not only on law schools, according to Mr Lieu, but on law student societies and law societies as well.

Law student societies need to be aware that the traditional law firms have a larger marketing spend, and so a conscious effort needs to be made to promote other opportunities that exist in New Law and other industries.

“A law degree is very powerful in the graduate marketplace and it’s more about knowing where you can use your law degree. Traditional law firms are an excellent route, but there's definitely a lot more out there that students should be aware of as well.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017


Universities fail to keep pace with industry
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
Oct 24 2017
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Diversity
Oct 24 2017
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Jetski
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...