Because what the world needs now is lawyers with even more degrees? UC Irvine is planning to launch a Center for Corporate Law next summer that will offer extensive training for attorneys already working as in house counsel as well as those aspiring to go in house.
While several schools already offer programs for corporate counsel that last a few days, UC Irvine hopes to distinguish itself with a program that will last six weeks over the summer, reports The National Law Journal.
The program will cover such important matters as management and business skills and intellectual property. Lawyers who graduate from the program will receive a "corporate counsel" certificate or a "general counsel" certificate depending upon the number of modules they complete within four years.
While the dean of UC Irvine law school, Erwin Chemerinsksy, thinks that "this will become one of the signature programs of the law school," the program can be met with a bit of skepticism as a blatant money grab.
It's true that in house counsel deal with different issues than lawyers at the government or at law firms. But is a six week course really necessary? Whatever happened to hands-on work experience?
With the logic that lawyers will need special training to become in house counsel, one could also argue that district attorneys would need a special certificate, as well as outside counsel, family law attorneys, and any other niche that deals with their own unique issues.
Most importantly, how will hiring companies view these certificates? A school can name a special degree anything; such as, "The Ultimate In House Counsel Degree." But the degree is useless unless employers also similarly view the degree as the "ultimate."
Still, if people are willing to pay for the certificate, who is anyone to judge. More education is better than no education, if you can afford it. And with the school planning to recruit students in China and Korea, as reported by the Journal, it appears that the school already targeted those who can afford another law degree.
- UC Irvine Planning Certificate Course for In-house Counsel (JD Journal)
- Is the In House Counsel Lifestyle Really Better? (FindLaw's In House)
- Top 5 Reasons Not to Go to Law School (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)