NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — The Association of Legal Administrators’ (ALA) 2015 Annual Conference & Expo is underway in Nashville, Tennessee. The event runs Sunday, May 17, to Wednesday, May 20. On Monday, May 18, ALA President-Elect Teresa Walker, COO of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, interviewed former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on the challenges law students are facing today.
“Legal practice, in my judgment, is changing,” said Gonzales. “Law schools have to change, as well, in order to continue to serve the legal profession.”
When asked what shape those changes are taking, Gonzales responded, “I went to law school in the dark ages. There was much less emphasis on business development as a young lawyer, and quite frankly, much less emphasis on being practice-ready. … Obviously that’s changed dramatically today.”
Gonzales was the 80th United States Attorney General, appointed in February 2005 by President George W. Bush, becoming the highest-ranking Hispanic in executive government to date. He was the first Hispanic person to serve as White House Counsel, and earlier he had been Bush's General Counsel during his governorship of Texas. Gonzales also served as Secretary of State of Texas and then as a Texas Supreme Court Justice.
Gonzales is currently Dean and Doyle Rogers Distinguished Professor of Law at Belmont Law School where, he explained, he tries to instill the importance of business acumen in law students.
“At Belmont Law School, we have an office management practice course where our students talk about how to prepare a budget, how to find office space, how to run their own business,” he said. “I think we’re seeing more and more of that in law schools around the country, because it is so very vitally important for success of a law firm.”
For more information on the Gonzales interview and other interviews taking place at ALA’s Annual Conference & Expo, visit http://www.alanet.org/conf. Annual Conference is the premier event for law practice managers around the globe.
"We are continually dedicated to making ALA the undisputed leader in the business of law,” says Paula Barnes, 2014-2015 ALA President, Legal Administrator, Burr & Forman LLP.