Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Training for What?

Rod Borlase wrote, "I taught  Advanced Legal Research  at the University of Houston Law Center, among my life's more rewarding experiences."  But, the Professor (now mediator and advocate) explains, he became disenchanted.

"I worry," he explains in Why I Worry Today About Our Profession, "and that is why I left academe, why I'm here now to take up this critical issue with my favorite constituency, colleagues of my craft at bar."  And what is the "critical issue" that worries Professor Borlase?

SImply put—an inability to perform basic legal research and basic, competent writing ... the inability to articulate the law and to support a legal position either orally or in writing.  That's the issue.

"The problem," Professor Borlase opines, "is with our law schools, which no longer view their purpose (or very much of it, at least) as training lawyers in their profession's traditional arts, such as written or oral advocacy, but instead for academe itself, as if all those students (the worthy ones at least) aspired to be law professors just like them...."

Is he right? We've all seen examples of what he mentions, either in the professional practice, or in law school, or both.  Is the problem with our law schools?  Are we training lawyers for the traditional lawyering arts, or for academe? 

Which are you most interested in as an Academic Support professional?  (djt)

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