Monday, September 30, 2013

Law School is Not Vo-Tech School

With the emphasis on educating lawyers to be practice ready,
an important part of their education may suffer neglect. Students also need
what are sometimes called “perspective courses.” I view them as specialized
liberal arts courses. Examples are jurisprudence, legal history, comparative
law, and law and literature. The insights from these courses help students to
understand the human condition. After all, lawyers work with people and develop
relationships with them. The courses also give them insights that enhance their
ability to be creative. Successful lawyers who help their clients need to be
more than drones. Here is a quote from a recent article by the noted biographer
and editor Jon Meacham.

What is heartening to those who believe in the value of a passing acquaintance with
Homer and the Declaration of Independence and Jane Austen and Toni Morrison as
well as basic scientific literacy is that there is little argument over the
human and economic utility of a mind trained to make connections between
seemingly disparate elements of reality. The college graduate who can think
creatively is going to stand the greatest chance of not only doing well but
doing some good too. As long as the liberal-arts tradition remains a foundation
of the curriculum in even the most elective of collegiate systems, there is
hope that graduates will be able to discuss the Gettysburg Address—in a job
interview at Google.

You can read more here.


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