Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lawyers as Social Engineers

In their 1943 germinal article, Harold Lasswell and Myres  McDougal argued that law schools should train lawyers to be social engineers, offering “conscious, efficient and  systematic training for policy-making.” Legal Education and Public Policy: Professional Training in the Public Interest, 52 Yale L.J. 203. With the emphasis on private law in the lawyering skills movement, the need to train lawyers to be “movers and shakers” in society also deserves attention. To a great degree, law schools produce the future policy makers and architects of society. To be sure, some clinics assist in this training by taking on issues of public  policy. Doctrinal courses, however, need to do more that identify and debate competing policy objectives. They need to explore how to achieve desired policy outcomes.


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