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Key Competencies for Law Students and New Professionals: Comments via Video


Compentency-based education for professionals of all sorts is hot right now, and for good reasons. In a changing professional services environment, new professionals need every boost that they can get.

This Summer, there are at least three *free* competency-based webinar series about to get under way: the “Passport to Practice” series, the CLI Corporate Legal Leaders Summer Webinar Series, and the Legal Tech Essentials Program at Bucerius Law School.

The three programs have some interesting commonalities and intersections, in their offerings, in their organization, and in their ancestry. For practical purposes, those things are more easily seen by people who’ve been in these trenches or who’ve been watching them carefully. For example, the influence of the Institute for the Future of Law Practice and the (related) Legal Evolution team is pretty clear.

But for current students and recent graduates, it’s not so easy to tell whether and how the programs overlap, or don’t, and whether or not any of the programs is worth the time that it asks students to invest.

My law school, at the University of Pittsburgh, is pushing out information about all three programs to our students, and Pitt Law asked me to prepare some short videos to help explain what the programs are all about. As one might expect, in these hectic days the call came rather late in the proverbial day relative to the planned schedules of each program. But we do what we can.

I’m not a speaker or lecturer in any of the programs. I had nothing to do with organizing any of their contents. But I know something about the motivations and interests of the organizers, and I have my own takes on the contributions of each program and what students should expect.

I’m a big believer in competency-based educational models and a big believer in trying new things like these. Maybe Pitt Law students will listen to what I have to offer. I also figured: why not share the primitive fruits of my newly-acquired movie making skills? My three little videos are now up on YouTube, and they are embedded below. At about 10 to 15 minutes per video, consider each one a legal education amuse-bouche.

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three: