Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Two articles in the October National Jurist discuss the increasing focus on practical training in law schools. In Too Esoteric?, author Bruce Buckley quotes last year’s speech by Chief Justice John Roberts, who criticized academic legal scholarship as too theoretical and unhelpful to the bar. Buckley writes that, with many law graduates unprepared to practice law, some schools are reacting by adding more practical training, including clinical courses. In a separate article, Meltdown in St. Louis, author Jack Crittenden recounts a dispute that arose at St. Louis University School of Law when the university president, Rev. Lawrence Biondi, indicated in August that the law school would emphasize scholarship less and move toward a more practical training approach. Dean Annette Clark resigned over that decision, and St. Louis trial lawyer Thomas Keefe assumed the interim deanship, presumably to move the school in a more practical direction.