The Caspar, Wyoming Star Tribune has a report about a speech that Justice Scalia gave to students at the University of Wyoming law school. The article mentions the advice Justice Scalia gave the students about what courses they should take.
Specifically, Just Scalia said that they should take "bread and butter courses. Do not take, `law and women,' do not take `law and poverty,' do not take `law and anything."
Is this good advice? I suppose it depends on what he means by "bread and butter courses." To the extent that Justice Scalia is talking about taking classes that cover areas of law covered by the bar exam, I think the advice is misplaced. The various companies that offer bar review courses will teach one the basic areas of the law covered by the bar exam.
My advice, which if nothing else comes from someone who has actually attended law school in the 21st Century, is that law student should take classes that they think might interest them. Law school is probably the last time most people will be in school. So, they should take topics that seem like interesting areas to study. If that means taking tax classes, then take tax classes. If it means taking law and poverty, then take law and poverty. Also, try to take a clinic or some other practical skills class so that you can get a sense of what being a lawyer is actually like.
Law school is stressful enough that one should not compound the stress by taking a class in which one has no interest. If that means not taking one of the bread and butter classes, so be it.
What about you, Mr. Torvik? Do you think law students follow Justice Scalia's advice about what classes they should take.