Sunday, November 20, 2011

Everything I needed to practice law, I didn't learn in law school

Law firms give crash courses in how to be a lawyer
In his ongoing series of searing critiques of legal education, David Segal takes aim again at the excesses and shortcomings of American law schools. He describes this scene from "a crash course in legal training":
[T]he three people taking notes are not students. They are associates at a law firm called Drinker Biddle & Reath, hired to handle corporate transactions. And they have each spent three years and as much as $150,000 for a legal degree.

What they did not get, for all that time and money, was much practical training. Law schools have long emphasized the theoretical over the useful, with classes that are often overstuffed with antiquated distinctions, like the variety of property law in post-feudal England. Professors are rewarded for chin-stroking scholarship, like law review articles with titles like “A Future Foretold: Neo-Aristotelian Praise of Postmodern Legal Theory.”


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