Saturday, August 11, 2012
Several state and local bar associations (here and here) have already formed so-called "task forces" to try to figure out where the law practice is going which has obvious implications for those considering law school curricular reform. Now the ABA has formed its own task force to more directly focus on what changes law schools need to make to stay relevant given the rapid and profound changes overtaking the profession. From The National Law Journal:
The American Bar Association is the latest organization to launch a task force examining the changes roiling the law profession and legal education.
The 18-member Task Force on the Future of Legal Education plans to spend two years examining how well law schools are meeting the needs of the profession.
"The growing public attention to the cost of a law school education, the uncertain job prospects for law school graduates and the delivery of legal services in a changing market warrant substantial examination and analysis by the ABA and the legal profession," outgoing ABA President William Robinson III said in announcing its formation. "Legal education must be evaluated in the context of the marketplace and the nation's and world's unprecedented challenges in an ever-more complex global economy."
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Additional bar associations around the country have delved into the problems facing young attorneys. While these efforts have identified problems, no dramatic changes in career development have resulted. It remains to be seen whether the ABA's task force, which will be national in scope, will solve the problem of high unemployment for law graduates.
Former Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard, now an executive in residence at Indiana University's Public Policy Institute, will chair the panel, which counts lawyers, judges, law professors and general counsel among its members.
"The task force will solicit views in the widest way possible to help us identify how the bench, bar and legal education community can work together to provide meaningful opportunities for law students and graduates that benefit clients and the public at large," Shepard said.