Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Incompetent Form Of Legal Education Today

What They Don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering, a Nov. 19, 2011 NY Times article, is a must read. It highlights just how incompetent most legal education is today. It highlights the fact that law schools teach little practical skills and factual scholarship is often only read by other faculty.

As I noted in a comment to the article, the fundamental reason for this is that law schools are only, and I mean only, in hiring faculty with stellar academic backgrounds. Nevermind that they may never have practiced law or represented a client. What is more imporant is that they got a law review article published in Yale.

Readers who are not familar with this might be stunned to know that law professors are "legal scholars"-not highly skilled lawyers. Many may not even be a a member of the bar. As the article points out, law schools frown on lawyers with experience.

Additionally, in most schools the most important and practical classes (legal writing and legal research) are taught by non-tenure track professors who are also the lowest paid.

Don't believe me. Check out the background of any FT non-clinical faculty member highered at any ABA approved law school in the last 10 years. If you can get a hold of their CV, you will see that some even list summer associate experience on it because their legal experience is so light.

This is indeed a said state of affairs. 

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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I began keeping the blog with the intention of both documenting my experience and offering some insight into what our lives our like in law school. This article discusses both and I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a break from trying to draft a settlement agreement for my Negotiations class to share it.

In my school’s defense, we did take a class called Lawyering this semester which certainly offered some of the practical skills this article talks about. Another course I’m about to finish; Negotiation, Counseling, and Interviewing, also provided us with practical skills application but there is still an inordinate amount of emphasis placed on doctrinal material that it seems isn’t going to mean a whole lot beyond the bar exam.

Posted by: Engineering College Rajasthan | Nov 20, 2011 11:01:05 PM

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