The University of California, Irvine School of Law is planning to start a Center for Corporate Law from next summer to offer training for in-house counsel, and students who aspire to become in-house attorneys after graduation. While, such programs in other well-known law schools are usually, short crash courses lasting from a few days to about a week, the Irvine School of Law is planning a full-scale six-week summer course split into weekly modules.
The program would also be offering a “corporate counsel” certificate to lawyers who complete at least three weekly modules within three years, and a “general counsel” certificate to those who complete at least four weekly modules within four years.
So, in case you had been wondering how to become a corporate counsel or a general counsel – now you know – pay and attend courses at the Irvine School of Law – and you’d have the chance to become ‘certified’ with those titles. We hope the legal industry and law firms would also respect the certificates, but, of course, the value of structured education, by itself, is immense.
Of late, the academia has become increasingly concerned with the needs of in-house counsel who represent a more stable segment of revenue earners than those practicing in other sectors of the industry. There is also a perception (though questionable) that in-house counsel have more time to spare than those in private law practice.
With law student applications dropping all across the country, and traditional sources of earning revenue drying up for law schools, it makes sound business sense to target other populations who can afford, and can be astronomically charged.
Of course, the decision has been taken by the business advisory council of the Irvine School of Law, who are feeling just heartbroken over the lack of training opportunities available for in-house counsel employed in businesses around the country. Though the need had always been there, it’s good that someone is responding to the need at last, though under compelling circumstances – but that’s how economic reality dictates change.
The business advisory council at the school is expected to be smart, and they are. Since there are possibilities that students and in-house counsel in this country may be skeptic of the program, the school is most kindheartedly going to offer its bounties to students across the world, including those from China and Korea.