Saturday, July 11, 2009
The discussion begun by Paul Lippe, founder of the attorney networking site Legal OnRamp, criticizing the adequacy of law school training, which we first reported here, has finally gained traction and is now running hotter than a nitro-methane funny car. Mr. Lippe didn't just direct his comments to curricular shortcomings, but also to the hubris of law professors who are disconnected from the needs of the practicing bar.
of my youth in Cleveland, Ohio during the 1970s and 80s. Lots of my friends' parents worked for General Motors, which offered high pay, amazing benefits, predictable hours, and long vacations. No one else seemed to have it so good. I remember thinking at the time that GM was both complacent and invincible. It turned out that I was only half right. So I worry about my own industry. Do I have the mindset of a GM employee circa 1979? God, I hope not.
Lippe repeatedly suggests that medical and business schools have got it right and law schools provide "inferior training." Oh really? So, when our nation is in the throes of a debate over the runaway costs of health care and the global economy is in a massive recession due largely to the utter largess and indulgence of our big business and investment industries, law schools should emulate medical and business schools? I think not. Rather, I suggest that medical and business schools are right up there with, if not ahead of, law schools in the need to examine their pedagogical models. In any event, it is not useful to compare medical, business, and law school models--they are three vastly different professions with distinct subject matters and professional pathways.
You can read the rest of Professor Ruhl's response to Lippe's criticism of law school complacency here.
So what do you think, dear reader? Is Mr. Lippe's assessment that law schools are broken accurate or is he the misinformed outsider that Professor Ruhl suggests?
Hat tip to Stephanie West Allen.
I am the scholarship dude.