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Legal Education: On Building a Vision

[Continuing my now-weekly series on new directions for legal education.  The first two posts are here and here.]

My two posts about a law school of the future were labeled “visions,” but they were blueprints rather than visions.  Visions — organizational, institutional visions — aren’t so detailed, and if there is any hope for a vision becoming reality, then it can’t be mandated from above.  Visions don’t come on stone tablets, and they don’t get carried down from the mountain top.  As much wiser people than I have written, visions get built, and they are built around values, purposes, and big themes and goals.

In those senses, I don’t have a vision of legal education.  Not yet, anyway.  I do, however, have a set of intuitions about what I’d like to do with my students, things that are rarely captured in conventional conversations about law school pedagogy and exam writing (and techniques), about faculty identity (“classroom” faculty, “clinical” faculty, “legal writing” faculty), about the types of jobs that students should aspire to securing within nine months of graduating.  Those things are important to many, many people. In their usual form, at least, they’re not that important to me.

I want to arm law students — all law students — with a sense of overarching personal capability and self-confidence that in some fundamental way can pull them through the troughs, valleys, and crises that are too often associated with not remembering the black-letter rule, not knowing how to draft a discovery plan, and other, similar nuts-and-bolts issues.  Here is why:Read More »Legal Education: On Building a Vision

Legal Education: Refining and Extending the Vision

Last week’s post on the future of legal education – “One Vision of the Future” – in many ways didn’t go far enough. So here is a refinement and extension. I like “things,” and here I am designing a “thing.” Version 2.0, if you will.

As with Version 1.0, the point of this exercise is not only to engage in some science fiction regarding what we do. It’s to see if the science fiction leads to recognizing some things that we might do today that would help our students and the profession.Read More »Legal Education: Refining and Extending the Vision