A legal education site being launched today, Beyond The Bar, aims to provide a bridge between law school and law practice, providing training to new associates in business skills, legal skills and client relations. The site is sponsored by Thomson Reuters and the West LegalEdcenter.

“The goal of Beyond the Bar,” the site says, “is to provide an opportunity for new lawyers to gain a deeper understanding of skills through interactive workshops, going beyond traditional bridge-the-gap or transitional education programs.”

The site offers training courses in topics such as contract drafting, business counseling, effective communication, pretrial advocacy, client service and interpersonal communications. It appears that the courses are all live — there are no webcasts or other online courses offered through the site right now. From what I can tell, it appears that the site will add online courses as it is further developed.

UPDATE: After I posted this, a press release went out announcing the site. It confirms that the primary course offerings will be these live programs, but indicates that supplemental courses will become available online. “Expert faculty with real-world practice experience will lead these live interactive workshops covering a range of business skills, legal skills and client-relations philosophies … ,” the release says. “New lawyers can use their new skills in their practice immediately and continue their professional development after the workshop through online courses and virtual collaboration.”

The courses are taught by a faculty of well-known legal professionals, such as Ken Adams of Adams Drafting, Ross Fishman of Fishman Marketing, George Washington University legal research and writing professor Christy Hallam DeSanctis, and Charles H. Rose III, director of the Center for Excellence in Advocacy at Stetson Law School.

I’m not sure if this is true for all the programs offered through the site, but of the live programs I looked at, the cost was $695.

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Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.