Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Another update from the recently concluded Future of Legal Education conference

On Sunday we blogged about Elie Mystal's report from this weekend's conference sponsored by Harvard and New York Law School that was attended by approximately 75 deans, law faculty, employers, consultants, and other interested parties.  In his second report, Mystal tells us about a panel discussion he attended called "The Top Three Problems with the Current Model" during which panelists gave the expected critiques of Wetmore, Keith legal education concerning too much emphasis on theory at the expense of helping students develop practical skills (although Keith Wetmore, chair of Morrison & Foerster LLP, defended the need for "theory" courses because they help students develop creative thinking that is key to becoming a successful lawyer).

Not surprisingly, Mr. Wetmore (pictured here) also spoke about the need to improve the writing skills of new law graduates.

Joe Altonji of the law firm consulting group Hildebrandt had an interesting take on the future of law schools.  He noted that

law schools all teach to one business model: the Biglaw business model. He thought that some law schools should do that, while others should focus on types of law currently populated by people who “failed” to succeed at law schools as currently constructed. Altonji wanted a world where certain schools would be geared towards future government lawyers, while other schools tried to produce small and solo practitioners.

That seems like a plausible direction for some schools to explore.  You can read the rest of Elie's report here.  Additional coverage can be found at Law.com, here, which echoes many of Elie's comments. 

I am the scholarship dude.




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