Arent Fox is expanding its real estate practice in Washington by adding two real estate finance attorneys who were among the recent slew of lawyers leaving Patton Boggs for other firms.
David Martin and Patrick Nickler began work last week as partner and counsel, respectively.
Martin, a former general counsel of commercial lending for CapitalSource, specializes in finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and banking.
Nickler’s practice focuses on real estate finance, loan workouts, restructuring and real estate acquisition and development.
Law students may have to start getting more real-world training before graduating law school, under a proposal recently approved by the American Bar Association’s Standards and Review Committee.
The committee makes recommendations to the Council on the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, the accrediting body for the nation’s law schools. The committee voted this month to mandate that law schools require students earn at least six credits of “experiential learning,” which includes any experience representing clients outside the classroom, such as course-related internships and clinics, where students work with clients under the supervision of a professor.
The council will consider the change at its annual meeting in August, said Barry Currier, managing director of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. The earliest the requirement could go into effect would likely be the 2014-15 school year.
Many law schools already provide real-world work opportunities, but a requirement for a specific number of credits would set a national standard, said Kate Kruse, a law professor at Hamline University School of Law and president of the Clinical Legal Education Association, a group of law teachers advocating for a 15-unit requirement for experiential learning.
Many legal educators and lawyers have long criticized law schools for not providing students with enough real-world training, and some say the need for students to learn practical skills is more important than ever as the job market for recent law graduates becomes increasingly competitive.