Can the source of lawyer procrastination be traced to law school? Joel Spolsky, in his always-insightful Joel on Software Blog, takes on colleges teaching computer science, and squarely blames them for turning out students poorly prepared to tackle time-based, collaborative projects.
College students in their final year have about 16 years of experience doing short projects and leaving everything until the last minute. Until you’re a senior in college, you’re very unlikely to have ever encountered an assignment that can’t be done by staying up all night….
Students have exactly zero experience with long term, team-based schedules. Therefore, they almost always do crappy work when given a term-length project and told to manage their time themselves.
If anything productive is to come out of these kinds of projects, you have to have weekly deadlines, and you have to recognize that ALL the work for the project will be done the night before the weekly deadline. It appears to be a permanent part of the human condition that long term deadlines without short term milestones are rarely met.
Lawyers, does this sound familiar? I’m doing some more thinking on this, but it seems to me that law students not required to meet deadlines (and work collaboratively) are ill-prepared to become good lawyers. Your thoughts?