Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law


James Backman


Law schools and bar associations have begun successful and sustainable programs to assist law students and new lawyers in making the transition from law school to the first year of legal practice. The key to the universal availability of these proven approaches is the willingness of experienced lawyers to become supervising mentors for law school externship programs and for bar association mentoring programs for new lawyers. The traditional roadblocks to implementation of these programs have disappeared by eliminating the heavy costs involved in traditional law school clinical programs and by adding quality controls to bar association programs to assure that the formerly debunked apprenticeship programs operate as they should. Law schools can contribute to a meaningful transition by providing meaningful practice experiences as the method for learning in a capstone apprenticeship semester during the third year of law school. Bar associations can adopt learning oriented plans for mentors to turn a relationship into a meaningful set of educational objectives.


© 2009 BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School