Saturday, February 23, 2013
Friday, February 15, 2013
Legal education has come under a great deal of fire lately. One criticism that has been around long before the recent legal education crisis, however, is that law schools teach only theory, and not practical skills. The debate, in a nutshell, boils down to two competing camps. The practicing-lawyer camp mocks theory, while praising the value of a practical education. After all, we lawyers are licensed to practice law, and clients deserve some basic level of competence, even from new graduates. The law-professor camp, on the other hand, elevates theory to heavenly heights, singing its praises along with the importance of teaching students “how to think like a lawyer”—whatever that phrase may mean. Unfortunately, the two sides are only preaching to their respective choirs. In fact, the debate never gets off the ground because the word theory means something different to each camp.