“A review of catalogs and entries in the Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools, published by the Law School Admission Council in cooperation with the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools, provides evidence that schools are not doing a good job distinguishing themselves from one another. Many appear to be all things to all people.” The MacCrate Report

Maybe that’s because, for the most part, law schools are doing the same thing (they are certainly not all things). Law schools teach you how to think like the proverbial lawyer. There are no majors. When you leave, you seek a position somewhere “in the law” and begin to learn what to do.

What I propose is that law schools promote something unique; i.e, a specialty, an area of concentration or an approach, something that will make the law school stand out and appeal to many considering law school and a career in the law. Think PierceLaw’s IP reputation and Vermont’s environmental niche.

Here’s a few that came to mind:

The ten fundamental skills (or specific ones like problem solving or dispute resolution)

The four fundamental values (or specific ones like promoting justice)

Drafting commercial transactional documents

Representing corporations generally or in one or more practice areas (M&A, taxation, trusts and estates, healthcare)

Attaining a level of competence to be able to zealously represent a client

Experiential teaching (performance and evaluation)

Clinical teaching

Research and writing

Appellate work

Working with a team on projects

Trial advocacy

Intellectual stimulation

Mediation and collaborative law

Representing individuals & consumers generally or in one or more practice areas (employment, education, product liability, immigration, family)

Increasing the Delivery of Legal Services to the Public

Training to be a Professor

Holistic jurisprudence

Starting a solo practice – entrepreneurship

Small firm practice

Corporate Counsel

Working as a lobbyist, legislator, district attorney or government official.

Executive Director of a Non-Profit

Law and Economics

Taking positions consistent with your professional goals and personal values

Developing neglected areas of the law

Improving the profession

Social Networking in the Law

Technology in the Law

Faith-based, spiritual, religiously focused

Cultural and ethnic diverse student body

On-line law school

Law school without books, all on-line

State run or privately operated apprenticeship system not requiring attendance at a

law school

Faculty all adjunct, all practicing lawyers

Faculty primarily focused on research and publishing

Faculty primarily focused on mentoring, advising and counseling

School has eliminated on-campus interviews