There’s an ongoing debate about whether law school students are equipped to effectively be able to do their jobs after passing the bar.

(Photo Courtesy of Joe Bogdan)

(Photo Courtesy of Joe Bogdan)

In a recent op/ed piece on the American Bar Association, questions arise about whether law school students are taught to become law professors as opposed to becoming practicing lawyers.

Joe Bogdan, the owner and practicing lawyer of the law firm Silvershift, and an assistant professor at Columbia College Chicago, does not disagree.

“What is missing in most law schools’ curriculum, and was missing in mine when I attended, is education in business and the practical aspect of the practice of law. In law school, I had classes on business organizations. But nobody ever taught me about the paperwork to fill out to form a corporation. They don’t teach you how to draft a merger agreement or how to draft the complaint that allows you to file the personal injury lawsuit. They just teach you about the underlying basis of the personal injury lawsuit.”

For those reasons, Bogdan is a strong advocate for today’s law school students taking on business classes to learn the missing components.

Bogdan holds an AB degree in English Literature with a minor in Government Law; a J.D. from the Gould School of Law; and an M.A. in Communications Technology.

“I enjoy the entertainment and technology industries. They overlap where the law is concerned because they both have a lot to do with intellectual properties. Whether you’ve written a song or a computer program, you’ve written something that’s protected by copyright.”

Bogdan has utilized the latter fascination by teaching Columbia’s Live and Performing Arts Management majors, essentially working two full-time jobs.

“Someone told me once that elementary school is where they teach you how to socialize. High school is where they teach you how to learn. College is where you actually learn. You’re not becoming a well-rounded, intellectual person until you’re in college and beyond.”

But with the career market on a roller coaster ride, Bogdan is aware that it takes more than just the degree to land a dream job.

“You have to keep pursuing your goals. I’ve seen a lot of students make superficial tries at what they wanted to achieve and then give up. I didn’t do that. Keep working and sooner or later one [door] will open.”

Shamontiel L. Vaughn is a professional journalist who has work featured in AXS, Yahoo!, Chicago Defender and Chicago Tribune. She’s been an Examiner since 2009 and currently writes about 10 categories on Examiner.com.

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