Friday, February 09, 2007

In Praise of "Generic" Skills

A visiting judge recently commented on the "wonderful generic skills" we learn at law student. They allow lawyers to associate with clients from diverse backgrounds, to critically assess myriad issues and to even change professions, if we like. Another point he raised was that after 20 years, we may be bored of what we're doing and, simply as a lawyer, there may be other options available.

In a practical sense, this insight echoes the comment from the previous post: cast a wide net for articling applications. As the student aptly notes, some students become so focused on one area of the law that they can't see themselves doing anything else. They apply for positions only in Construction Law, for example, because that's their passion. And then they end up without any offers.

With all that said, I believe that it all works out. The combination of our so-called "generic" skills, with the motivation that got us into law school will probably lead every law student into a satisfying career. (Getting rich while maintaining high ethical standards, on the other hand, is another kettle of fish.)


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