Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Law Profs Are Like Dorothy and Her Red Shoes: We've Had the Power to Change Legal Education All Along
The Legal Whiteboard: Is Law School Reform Going to Come Top Down or Bottom Up?, by William Henderson (Indiana):
[W]ill an ABA taskforce, or AALS, LSAC, or some other industry group taskforce produce substantial change? History suggests that the answer is no and that, instead, meaningful change will come from the bottom up rather than the top down. Change will occur at the bottom from either the desire to survive or the opportunity to do something great. Other similarly situated institutions that feel less urgency or inspiration will eventually perish. It is just that simple
The accreditation system we have created is an anchronism. But if we think the ABA Standards are holding back the forces of innovation in legal education, we are kidding ourselves. Any law school or law professor who wants a better way can have one -- we are all like Dorothy and her red slippers in the Wizard of Oz: we have had the power all along. ...
Reform in legal education is not a light switch. It is mindset that affects how we spend our time and who we spend it with. ... If we want reform, well, let's work on it and actually get something done that will inspire others. Eventually it will take hold and take off, with or without changes to the ABA governing standards.