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A Mobblog on Legal Education

Two cheers for indetured servitude!

Yesterday, Mike asked the following question about legal education and the profession:

As I read these, they take as premise the proposition not merely that law schools should change how they teach because practice-based teaching is more effective, but that law schools need to fill a training gap created by the growing unwillingness of many law firms to train new lawyers themselves.

Why should that latter proposition be the case? It is reasonable to argue that clients should not be forced to bear the cost of training new lawyers. But why should the profession not expect law firm partners to shoulder that cost ­ rather than passing some or all of it back to law schools?

I think that part of the answer lies in the nature of the employment contract.Read More »Two cheers for indetured servitude!

“Doing What We Do Best” or “Why Law Professors Should Feel Less Guilt”

Law schools, we are told, are failing to properly train lawyers for the profession. Most of the criticism comes from those who insist that legal education is too impractical, focusing on abstract questions with little relevance to legal practice and failing to provide the concrete skills in interviewing, drafting, etc. that are an attorney’s bread and butter. What happens in law schools, the critics insist, bears little resemblance to what happens in legal practice.

Before law professors join too enthusiastically in the self-flagellation, however, I think that we would do well to question the assumption that what happens in law schools ought to closely mirror in some sense what happens in legal practice. Read More »“Doing What We Do Best” or “Why Law Professors Should Feel Less Guilt”