Friday, March 8, 2013

Asking The Right Questions

Rebecca Love Kourlis has an interesting post on the Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers Website entitled Asking the Right Questions: Another Look at the Debate on Legal Education.

Some of her questions:

Is the law school curriculum providing value to prospective employers and prospective clients? In other words, are we teaching law students the right things in order to prepare them to practice law in today’s world?

Do employers and clients have a sufficient voice in shaping law school curriculum?

Why are there unemployed lawyers when so many people have unmet legal needs? (This is a favorite question of mine.)

She notes, "There is at least a cognizable argument that law schools are good at educating prospective law professors, appellate judges, or appellate advocates, but that the curriculum is not suitable for teaching students to be actual practicing lawyers."

She concludes, "We at Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers fear that the raging debate about the cost of legal education, while a topic worthy of discussion, may be dominating the conversation to the detriment of a broader dialogue about reshaping legal education for the better. The question should not simply be: why does legal education cost so much? Rather, the question should focus on reassessing and re-measuring the value of legal education: to students, to prospective consumers of legal services, and to society at large. We need lawyers: highly professional, competent lawyers. To get there, though, we need a law school process that actually produces those lawyers. How do we do that? That is the question we would like to prioritize."

(Scott Fruehwald)

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