James isn’t pulling any punches in his claim that law schools aren’t teaching basic business skills.
“This lack of basic financial literacy has been holding back the management and growth of the legal industry for decades. Many large law firms are only now starting to adopt the financial analytics tools that have long been commonplace in the broader business world.”
As a former accounting major who works in eDiscovery now, I know without a doubt that there is a lack of both business and technical knowledge in law firms. There are a lot of lawyers out there who I’ve run into over the years who really didn’t understand how technology worked, and also what it cost and why. Makes it difficult to put together something like an alternative fee arrangement when you can’t figure out how to use technology efficiently, or how much things cost, yet it happens.
But it’s just guess work if you don’t understand the basics, and those guesses are costing firms money at a time when they can least afford it. Should law schools focus more on the business of running a practice?