Friday, August 17, 2012

Lipshaw on Demons and Deities in the Debate over the Future of Legal Education

JlipshawJeff Lipshaw (Suffollk) has a very thoughtful post at The Legal Whiteboard, cross-posted at the Legal Professon Blog on the debates surrounding the future of legal education. Here is a bit (you should read the whole thing):

One of the false dichotomies I've observed over the course of a long career in and out of academia (more out than in - twenty-six years of law firm and in-house, managing, hiring, firing, etc.) is the view that the world divides up neatly into gods and demons. [the current debate shows the] perfect storm of deification and demonization when in the face of increasingly scarce resources (see Jerry's post), (a) there's a good old-fashioned turf war, (b) in law school, (c) at a time when all of the contending protagonists and antagonists feel the warm glow of victimization and justification.

. . .

The ability to learn is what mediates the perfect storm of self-interest, advocacy, and justification. But that's a higher order process because it means thinking about why you are thinking what you are thinking.  Or, in other words, it means having a disposition in which you are at least sometimes amenable to the possibility that the way you are putting order to chaos may be affecting your conclusions. 

Underlying these observations is the recognition that we have to critically reflect on both what we have and how we think things ought to be. Just because we believe it doesn't mean we are right.


Commentary, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

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