Sunday, March 22, 2020

ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Education, Principles For Legal Education and Licensure in the 21st Century: Principles and Commentary: Part IV, Wrap Up

The Committee Report is a well-thought out document, which will serve as a roadmap for much needed legal education reform.  Although it is not as detailed as the "Carnegie Report" or "Best Practices," I believe it is just as important.

It is vital that deans and law professors carefully read the Report and adopt its recomedations as quickly as possible.  It has been over ten years since the "Carnegie Report" and "Best Practices," and many of the changes suggested in those studies have not been adopted by many law schools.  I urge the members of this Committee to promulgate their Report far and wide and contact every law dean.

The Committee itself summarized where we need to go:

"There is positive change already underway; passionate innovators in every sector of legal education and licensure strive for progress every day. To build on that work, we need systemic change—and we need it now. The Principles articulated here point the way toward doing that. We can modernize our system of legal education and licensure to better prepare the next generation of legal professionals, serve existing and future client needs, and improve access to justice. But we must first believe that we can succeed."

They continued:

"The Commission believes that systemic change is possible. The Foundational and Operational Principles provide a platform for structured change. Individuals and institutions can use these Principles to assess current practices and fashion new ones. The Principles likewise support collaboration among institutions."

They concluded: "Although continued study is critical, we must move forward purposefully with aligned, transparent, and meaningful change. It is past time to shift collectively from study into action."

In other words, the future of legal education is now.

(Scott Fruehwald)

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