July 10, 2009
More on Training Lawyers
Over at Akron Law Café, Professor Stefan Padfield blogs about my remarks on training transactional lawyers given at the AALS's midyear meeting focusing on business law. (Usha Rodrigues previously commented on these remarks over at TheConglomerate).
Unrelated to my remarks, there’s been a flurry of recent posts related to lawyer training and the utility of law schools. Several of these have been in reponse to this post by Paul Lippe. See here and here (same post, different comments), here, here and here. Gordon Smith has been thoughtfully commenting on the topic for quite some time (for a small sample, see here, here, here, here and here).
Many critics of the current law school model point to medical school as the way things should be done. I have to say, I don't find atempts to analogize law school to medical school persuasive. Among other things, to get into medical school, a student has to have already taken a significant number of substantive courses. For example, most medical schools require applicants to have completed at least one full year of each of Biology and Physics and two full years of Chemistry (including Organic Chemistry), together with associated lab work. In law school, many students are, in effect, starting from scratch, with no prior legal or business training or experience. As a result, more substantive training is necessary, leaving less time for practical training. In addition, those holding medical school up as a model of hands-on practical training often skip over the fact that medical school is four years, the first two of which are devoted to teaching substantive courses.
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