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Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lempert Reviews Tamanaha's Failing Law Schools

FailingRichard O. Lempert (Michigan), Book Review, 43 Contemp. Sociology 269 (2014) (reviewing Brian Tamanaha (Washington U.), Failing Law Schools (University of Chicago Press, 2012)):

This review of Brian Tamanaha's Failing Law Schools argues that the book has considerable strengths and is a must read for anyone interested in contemporary legal education, but also has serious shortcomings and suggests reforms of questionable desirability. The burden of the review's argument is (1) Tamanaha's analysis is insufficiently sociological. Confounding cost-related problems facing law schools and peculiar to them with problems confronting higher education generally and hence unlikely to be correctable by law schools acting on their own. (2) It similarly ignores the degree to which changes in the law and the legal profession have placed new and costly demands on legal education. (3) Tamanaha's suggestion that legal education be reduced to 2 years to cut costs puts the cost horse before the educational cart and has little to commend it.

Other reviews of Failing Law Schools:

Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink


"Putting aside cost concerns, the case for the two year law school is weaker today than it was half a century ago. There is more to teach now than there was then. . . . Educationally speaking it makes more sense to debate whether law school should be four years, with one year devoted to clinical training or a legal internship, than it does to debate whether a third year of law school is necessary."


Posted by: No, breh. | Jun 5, 2014 11:20:18 AM

Who takes two years to review a book? Even an hour a day can get someone through the unabridged Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in about two months, assuming one reads at about the rate of one page per minute.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jun 5, 2014 12:59:10 PM