National Law Journal features Elon in report on the rise of business education in law schools

Elon is one of five law schools profiled for “getting serious about business skills” in the National Law Journal’s September 23 special report on law schools. 

“A growing number of law schools are borrowing a page from the MBA playbook and adding courses intended to give students a foundation in business, in addition to the law,” the National Law Journal report states. “These courses are an outgrowth of the rising demand for ‘practice-ready’ law graduates. In the past, ‘practice-ready’ primarily meant some real-world legal experience through clinics or externships. Now legal educators are starting to take a broader view of what, exactly, prepares a student to practice law.”

In addition to Elon, law schools featured in the report are: Georgetown Law, University of Colorado Law School, University of Michigan Law School and University of Pennsylvania Law School.

“They’re realizing that basic business and management skills would prove useful whether the student ends up counseling corporate clients, goes solo or works in a small nonprofit,” the National Law Journal writes. “In this special report, we profile some of the schools that are getting serious about business skills.”

The report’s section on Elon Law, titled, “Elon teaches students how to become leaders,” examines the law school’s Leadership Program in detail.

“Strong leaders don’t just happen. They are created,” the National Law Journal report states, “That principle guided the founding faculty of Elon University School of Law as they designed the curriculum for their school, which welcomed its first students in 2006. Plenty of law schools have a course here or there that emphasizes leadership skills, but Elon decided to make leadership training a focal point by integrating it into all three years of the program and making it mandatory, said Faith Rivers James, director of the school’s leadership program.”

The National Law Journal report notes that Elon Law’s Leadership Program was recognized with a 2013 national award by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professionalism for being an “innovative, deeply committed and highly effective approach to leadership training of law students.”

The article includes insights from several members of the Elon Law community, including Faith Rivers James, professor of law and director of leadership programs, John Alexander, the law school’s leadership coach in residence and former president of the Center for Creative Leadership, alumna Chantelle Lytle L’13, now an associate with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough in Columbia, S.C., and law student David Lambert L’14, a leadership fellow at the law school and the 2013-14 Fourth Circuit Governor of the American Bar Association – Law Student Division.

More information about Elon Law’s Leadership Program is available here.

National Law Journal subscribers can read the complete special report here.