Research Project Completed

In the Spring of 2013, HLS Professors Coates, Spier and Fried conducted an online survey of 124 attorneys at major law firms in order to learn how HLS can better advise and train its students. The survey focused heavily on business-methods courses (e.g., accounting). The survey is meant to assist students in selecting courses by providing them with data about the relative importance of currently offered HLS courses and to provide faculty with information about how to improve the curriculum and advise students. The attorneys participating in the survey came from the 11 largest employers of HLS students over the last several years. Each firm was asked to recruit attorneys to participate from a range of positions and practice areas. The surveyed attorneys represented varying amounts and kinds of experience.

Graphs displaying charts. The first rating HLS business methods courses and how useful for associates with accounting the highest rated; the second advising which courses to take, with accounting again first.

The most salient result from the survey is that students should learn accounting and financial statement analysis as well as corporate finance. Accounting and financial statement and corporate finance are viewed as particularly valuable both for lawyers in litigation and lawyers working in corporate/transactional practice areas.

The survey is a high-impact, high-visibility project with coverage in the Wall Street Journal (learn more here) as well as numerous legal profession outlets.


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