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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of April 15, 2019

The Importance of Becoming Financial Savvy

We should aspire to be more than average-perhaps in everything, but, in particular, in terms of financial savvy.

Law schools certainly do not devote enough attention to the practical side of being a lawyer. It's fine–wonderful, in fact–to graduate students with knowledge of the particulars of law. However, it's not so fine-the opposite of wonderful, in fact–if those same students become exceptional lawyers but can't manage to make a living because they don't know how to run a business.

A report issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), noted a recent Associated Press (AP) story, found that American teens scored smack-dab in the middle of a group of countries in a test of money management. Out of the eighteen countries, the United States ranked ninth, with a below-average score. Shanghai, China, teens topped the chart with their financial intelligence.

Sample questions, which can be found on the OECD website at, include questions related to the understanding of invoices, graphs about stock prices, pay slips and monthly deposits, and interest rates on loans. In other words, all of the questions involve knowledge that any businessman needs.

The problem is that when teens go to law school, they often lack this basic knowledge. According to the AP story, only nineteen U.S. states require high schools to offer a personal finance course. So, what happens when these teens graduate from law school? How do they gain the knowledge of finance necessary to run a successful, profitable law firm?

It would be beneficial for all law schools to require a finance course that includes basics and more in-depth information. In addition, continuing legal education classes should include a generous choice of finance classes.

Lawyering is about more than the profession of law–it is about The Business of Law, too.



The Importance of Becoming Financial Savvy

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