Mr. mintz should look into an LLM and a JPS (I believe these are the right letters for a Law PhD). That's where you're going to get the academic stuff that he wants that doesn't mean jack in the practice of law.
There are many reasons to get an LLM. The popularity of LLMs is on the rise. Here are a few of the reasons:
1) Attorneys from foreign countries become bar eligible in the United States after completing an LLM program, which can be done in a year at many schools.
2) If you graduate from a high T2, finished 10-25% class rank, you have an undergraduate degree in accounting, you have an interest in practicing taxation law at a v25 firm, but you can't get hired. Get an LLM in taxation law from Georgetown and your chances of getting picked up by a v25 increase.
I know several attorneys with LLMs and it definitely makes them more employable. An LLM will not allow you to overcome a T3, where you had mediocre grades, but an LLM from a prestigious school can boost someone's career.