Pekarskyco.com: Things I Learned (teaching) At Law School
March 2, 2020
March 2, 2020
I recently completed my second year of teaching a course at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. The course title is “Law 599.03 Legal Practice: Marketing & Client Development.” It should be called “Everything You Never Learned in Law School but Should Have. Until Now.”
Co-taught with the Director of Business Development and Marketing of a national law firm, Simone Hughes, the curriculum focused on career and client development and strived to teach students the skills required to become well-rounded lawyers – client focused, service oriented, community minded, market savvy, supportive colleagues, respectful of not only one another but of themselves – and not just really smart ones (preferring to leave that aspect of their education to the real profs). Bonus points if they can achieve this state without turning into a raging A-hole in the process. On that latter point, like launching a celestial orbiter to, well, Uranus, we won’t know if we’ve succeeded for many, many years.
With lawyers ranking ahead of only car salespeople and members of congress in terms of trusted professions, according to a 2019 Forbes survey, we harped throughout the course on the importance of exceptional service, business acumen, and personal brand. Clients, we constantly explained, often don’t know when they are getting bad advice, but they always know when they’re getting bad service. And, though most students answered my math question correctly (“what percentage of you will graduate in the top 10% of your class?”), that top decile will be of little use to their firms if they can’t actually engage with the client. They, along with the other ninety, were besieged with panels, articles, blogs, podcasts, and anecdotes underlining the paramountcy of human interaction, even — nay, especially — in a digital world that transcend transcripts and foretell the future. READ THE ARTICLE.