September 11, 2007
Back to the Future
Hard as it may be for law students to believe, there was a time when the point of law schools was actually to train lawyers. For generations, however, our beloved Mother Ship -- the Association of American Law Schools -- has been working to focus law schools on more important things: generating more law review articles; getting faculty in other departments to recognize that we really are, too, scholars, not Hessian trainers; and cutting teaching loads for tenure-track faculty.
Is the AALS rethinking its mission? Well, maybe. President Nancy Rogers (Ohio State), in an op-ed piece in the National Law Journal, notes that a lot of people have been calling for changes in the way law schools go about actually preparing students for practice. That, she says, will be one of the things talked about at this year's annual AALS Bean Feed and Wiener Roast in New York City, when 3,000 of the Best and Brightest will gather to talk legal education and eat at good restaurants on expense accounts.
We may disagree about how to go about fixing the problem -- fewer law review articles and more time teaching and mentoring don't seem to be on anyone's agenda -- but we can expect the attendees to agree with Rogers that Congress needs to offer some debt relief to students so we can keep charging them really high fees while teaching only nine to twelve semester hours a year.
Disclaimer: We want to remind everyone that the comments on this blog are not the opinions of the Association of American Law Schools, or the Section on Contract Law -- which are obviously fictitious entities which couldn't have any opinions in the first place -- or of the editors of this blog, or of the writers, or possibly of anyone at all.
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