Saturday, November 11, 2006

CBS News: How Not to Fix Law School

Interesting segment on CBS News' Court Watch with Andrew Cohen: How Not to Fix Law School:

It took Harvard Law School roughly 130 years to try to "fix" its curriculum for first-year students and still the academics got it wrong. Instead of offering students more practical training for their sojourn through the law, the faculty and administrators of America's most famous law school instead decided to offer variations of the same tired curriculum that has caused generation after generation of lawyers to emerge from law school unprepared for the real world of the law. Maybe in the year 2136 they'll finally get it right. ...

The dirty truth is that very little of what law schools teach baby lawyers prepares them for their first true test — passing the bar exam. And very little of what new lawyers have to study and master to succeed at the bar exam prepares them for the practice of law. That's why, in spite of the six-figure salaries first-year associates can pull down in New York and Los Angeles and other hot spots, rookie attorneys aren't worth spit (or, more precisely, don't know spit about how to successfully practice law). Forcing first-years to study more about statutory interpretation, or international law, isn't going to solve that problem.

For more, see TaxProf Blog.


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