Law professors want their students to succeed in navigating the challenging path of law school and legal practice. We embed our advice in our courses and other interactions with students. Usually, we don’t have the chance to impart our wisdom systematically and get to convey only bits and pieces here and there.
Recently, I compiled my advice into a single article that I hope many students read and benefit from. I suspect that most professors and administrators would agree with virtually all of my suggestions. So you might want to assign it in your courses if appropriate, either as required or recommended reading. It is also appropriate for orientation programs, so you might pass this along to the people who organize the program at your school.
Since 2004, I have been teaching a required 1L course at the University of Missouri: Lawyering: Problem-Solving and Dispute Resolution. Every year, for the first day of class, we would read Stephen D. Easton, My Last Lecture: Unsolicited Advice for Future and Current Lawyers, 56 S.C. L. Rev. 229 (2004). I LOVE that article, which expresses really honest, practical advice with a good spirit.
I was asked to write an article to celebrate my retirement in an article collecting my ideas. So I drafted My Last Lecture: More Unsolicited Advice for Future and Current Lawyers, which will appear next year in the Journal of Dispute Resolution.
If you think that your students would benefit from it, please let them know about it. If I express advice you would give, you get the benefit of repetition, essentially saying, “See – it’s not just me. Someone who sounds impressive says the same things.”
I still have a chance to revise the article, so if you have any suggestions (especially if you might assign this in the future and want me to include things to urge your students), please let me know by September 14.
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