In Legal Education’s Waterloo, I promised a longer comment on an excellent recent provocation in Forbes.com by Mark Cohen, concerning what US law schools are doing, are not doing, and should be doing with respect to training new lawyers for impactful future careers. The longer comment comes in three parts. One has to do the urgency of change. That’s this part. Two, yet to come, will deal with a vision of what legal education likely looks like in some future, better world. Three, also in the future, will talk about how legal education gets from where it is today to where it is likely to go, either willingly or unwillingly.
On One and Two, I mostly agree with Mark. Change is urgent, and the future doesn’t look too much like the present. On those points, I want to add some nuance and re-characterization, because the world looks different when you’re on the inside. If you’re trying to persuade insiders to change their ways (which may or may not be the goal of the Forbes piece), then it can be helpful to see things as they do. The outside view is important, too, but it’s probably best to blend the two.
Three is the most complicated, which is why it’s last.