Tuesday, January 3, 2023
The Way Forward for Legal Education by David I. C. Thomson
New Legal Education Book: The Way Forward for Legal Education by David I. C. Thomson.
This book (of which this paper is an excerpt) offers a post-pandemic vision for the future of legal education and charts a path to get there. Among the book's recommendations are that schools must dispense with the LSAT and develop an alternative non-discriminatory admissions process. Further, that law schools should admit a much larger cohort to the 1L year, at much reduced cost, and put most of 1L content online in a hybrid format. It suggests that a "baby bar" be administered at the end of the first year, with only roughly half passing into second year and the rest awarded a master's degree in American Law, which will become a credential to become an Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT), the expansion of which will help address the critical justice gap that we currently have in the legal system. It argues for the expansion of experiential learning and the intentional formation of professional identity in the 2L and 3L years. While these proposals may seem radical at first, many of them are already happening in various natural experiments around legal education, and the ABA is already moving in this direction. This book provides comprehensive guidance on how these proposals can be gradually adopted, with the goal that they spread throughout legal education over the next decade. More information about this book can be found here: https://cap-press.com/books/isbn/9781531023966/The-Way-Forward-for-Legal-Education.