New York, NY — UnitedLex, the leading technology and legal services company, has partnered with Passport to Practice, a virtual boot camp program designed to better prepare law students for the corporate world by going beyond subjects commonly covered in law school.
This summer, unemployment rates skyrocketed to 14.7 percent due to COVID-19. Summer internships were not immune, and many internships were put on hold or canceled. Wanting to provide a solution, Passport to Practice founders Andrea Sinner, Holly Fisher, and Peter Lederer developed a uniquely curated program. The free program was designed to act as a supplement for law school by offering a 30-session virtual boot camp that focused on increasing skills, knowledge, and vocabulary in a wide range of competencies that go beyond traditional legal knowledge.
“A lot of students go into law school because law can have a profound impact on people’s lives,” said Andrea Sinner. “This seemed like a really good use of our time, when things are constantly changing, and law students and recent graduates are looking for ways to get involved.”
Core program sessions were held three days a week over Zoom from June 30 to July 16, and were broken up into three categories—process, people, and technology. Topics of focus included law practice management, teamwork, data analytics, communication, feedback, technology, and multi-disciplinary collaboration. Sessions were taught by some of the most forward-thinking professionals and academics in law.
The founders worked with organizations including UnitedLex, Spotify, and LegalZoom to roll the program out in just six weeks.
UnitedLex CEO Dan Reed said, “As we collectively navigate the challenges we face, creating opportunities for law students and recent graduates to gain skills and build a network is a powerful investment in the future of the law community. Supporting Passport to Practice was a no-brainer for us.”
The pilot version of Passport to Practice kicked off with great success. Over 400 law students and recent graduates participated, representing 30 different countries. 240 people completed all 30 modules during the three-week program and received a certificate of completion.
NYU JD candidate and Passport to Practice participant Kate Clendenen said, “I read how Passport to Practice promised to teach the skills that law schools do not—and that mission statement resonated with me. I am really enjoying law school, but it is very theoretical. 99 percent of attorneys I spoke with said there was really nothing I could do to prepare myself for the ‘real world’ after law school. Eventually, I understood what they meant. Law school teaches you to think like a lawyer, but it does not teach you how to be one. Passport to Practice focuses on the latter.”
Moving forward, the founders hope that Passport to Practice will continue to help recent law school graduates as they transition into the corporate world.
“Passport to Practice plans to continue to add value for law students and recent grads,” Holly Fisher said. “By refining which knowledge and skills are most valued in the legal marketplace and collecting and sharing learnings about how multi-institution collaboration can be most effective, Passport to Practice is positioned to make a real difference in the legal community.”
UnitedLex is a technology and legal services company committed to delivering full-scale Digital Legal Transformation. The world’s most forward-thinking law departments and law firms rely on the company’s expertise in over 25 global jurisdictions. Founded in 2006, the team includes 3,000 legal, engineering, and technology professionals with major operations in 18 countries.