Business and Financial Literacy
Law practice continues to become more complex and demand a broader range of specialized knowledge. Business and financial literacy skills, once viewed as only important in business school or for law students who intend to become lawyers representing business owners or entities, are being viewed differently by legal educators who desire to ensure that law students are prepared for practice.
The world is driven by business, and core business and financial issues routinely surface in various types of legal disputes, transactions, and planning challenges. At a minimum, knowledge of basic business and financial concepts will help a lawyer deal with personal consumer, credit, financial, investment, and business challenges and enhance the lawyer’s ability to serve others, even when retained for a non-business matter.
The importance of understanding core business and financial concepts is heightened for the lawyer who wants to serve business owners or executives at any level. Best Practices for Legal Education did not address the need for business and financial literacy. Given the growing recognition of this as a potential area for curricular development, it is a best practice for schools to identify whether students have opportunities in the curriculum to learn the knowledge, skills, and values of this subject.
This section explores why such knowledge, skills, and values are important and aims to identify the core elements of business and financial literacy for educators exploring this topic.