Articles Posted in Legal Needs of the Public

(Note the use of the Roman numerals in the title. While it might be inconsistent with a Russian theme, I thought it might gain the status of the NFL Super Bowl.)

When asked whether a new law school graduate is ready to practice law, most say “No.”

The basis for the problem is that for over one hundred years law schools have seen their mission as teaching students how to think like a lawyer – what might be referred to as a Graduate School Model, uniformly rejecting the medical school approach which prepares students to practice their profession – the Professional School Model. The MacCrate report strongly criticizes law schools for their heavy reliance on the Socratic method and appellate case analysis as somewhat effective in teaching legal reasoning and research but not so for the other eight fundamental skills needed by the practitioner (problem solving, factual investigation, communication, counseling, negotiation, litigation and ADR, organization and management of legal work, recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas.

As you may have read, I am campaigning to be appointed Law School Industry Czar (“LSI Czar”) based on the platform that law schools have failed students, graduates/lawyers and the public. To allow time for public input, I am publishing now the Ukases (edicts of the Czars) I expect to promulgate upon taking the position.

For future reference there will be frequent references to my two bibles: the first is Legal Education and Professional Development – An Educational Continuum – The Report of The Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession: Narrowing the Gap published by the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar in 1992 (“MacCrate Report”).

The second was also published in 1992 and is titled The Deeply Unsatisfactory Nature of Legal Education Today – A Self-Study Report On The Problems Of Legal Education And On The Steps The Massachusetts School Of Law Has Taken To Overcome Them. (“MSL Report”).

Recently I posted My Request to Be Appointed Law School Industry Czar on another blog but have now transferred it here and suggest you read it. As of today I have two supporters in my campaign.  I sense the beginning of a grassroots movement in favor of my selection. 

If you have read the request, you know I am convinced that law schools have failed their students, their lawyer/graduates and the public over the last decades by not teaching their students the skills and values they need to practice law, not informing them about their wide range of options, and not providing career guidance instead simply offering on-campus interviews. These failings, when combined with tuition much too high for the services provided, results in thousands of law students being “funneled” to BIGLAW  where they do not want to be, and thousands of others floundering with no vision of what to do with their degree.

What follows is predictable – an extraordinarily high percentage of lawyers expressing their dissatisfaction with their jobs and careers while millions of members of the public with serious legal issues have no recourse to lawyers and the legal system.