Friday, July 22, 2011

Lots of people have lots of thoughts about law school

The New York Times hosting a discussion called "The Case Against Law School" in its current "Room For Debate" feature.  Some highlights:

Bryan Garner -- famous teacher of legal writing -- argues that law schools should teach more legal writing.

Our friend George Leef also makes an appearance, arguing again that law school would be better if going to law school were unnecessary: "if [law schools] had to compete against other modes of legal education, costs would fall and efficiency would rise."  It is unclear to me why the hundreds of law schools and 50+ different state bars fail to create for the requisite competition.

University of Chicago Law School Professor Geoffrey Stone counters that one cannot possibly "learn to think like a lawyer" without at least three years of formal legal eduction.  (Interestingly, according to his bio, Prof. Stone graduated from law school in 1971, then clerked for two years (including one year for Justice Brennan) and joined the U of C faculty in 1973.  Thus, clerking aside, it is not clear that he has ever actually been a lawyer with clients, though he is definitely the man when it comes to teaching people how to think like one.)

Professor Kevin Millard thinks that law school is just too darn practical. Rather than teaching people how to be lawyers (or even necessarily how to think like them), Prof. Millard thinks law school "should emphasize educated citizenship." Remember -- this is a post-graduate education. One wonders what high school, much less college, is for.


1 comment:

  1. I compare Law school to Medical school, where students attend for 4 years, then intern for a year, then do a specialized residency for a couple more years. Law school followed by solo practice is ... dangerous.

    sean s.


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