Friday, July 22, 2011

NY Times Room For Debate on Law Schools

The NY Times features "The Case Against Law School" in the Room For Debate section today.  I've included this link as a follow up to a previous post of mine that seems to have attracted an unusually high number of views.  Included in the Times piece are David Van Zandt, former dean of Northwestern Law and current president of the New School, and David Lat, who writes Above the Law.  Also featured are law professors from Syracuse, Hofstra, the University of Chicago, and Wisconsin.

There are a number of defenders of the current system, including Geoffrey R. Stone of UChicago, who claims it's not possible to fit legal education into a shorter, more cost effective timeframe.  I haven't gone to law school, but I'm inclined to disagree with Kevin Noble Maillard of Syracuse University, who says law school emphasize educated citizenship.  That's ridiculous.  Lawyers certainly don't monopolize educated citizenship and would-be educated citizens are probably better off reading the newspapers than legal textbooks.  If incoming law students ranked their goals for their legal education, I'm not sure becoming a more educated citizen would make the top five or top ten.

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