When I was asked to compare the training which the average lawyer receives with the training the average winemaker recieves, the difference was stark indeed. I have two sons, one of which holds each job title. One of my sons is an immigration attoryney here in California while the other makes wine for a wine of the month club as well as part time for a small winery. At it’s core, NALP was meant to help bridge the chasm between a lawyer’s education and his practical experience. That is something the wine industry, amazingly seems to be doing a better job at promoting.
A winemaker receives training, largely through hands on working in the field. While a few Universities have programs which train winemakers, the bulk of the training truly starts after graduation. Of course, that education allows the average graduate to hit the ground running on their first day at a winery.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for attorneys. Too many law schools these days are training good general attorney’s who can pass the bar. Unfortunately, those same attorney’s leave law school with little practical experience. That lack of experience can be partially made up with a quality summer internship, but the average law firm counts on spending at least six months training their new hires on how to file even rudimentary paperwork for their clients and other staff.
That’s something which needs to change for both graduates as well as for law firms alike.