Friday, August 15, 2014
San Francisco Daily Journal: It's Time to Rethink Law School, by Frank Wu (Dean, UC-Hastings):
There are two schools of thought about legal education. One insists that law schools are fundamentally fine. They face only a momentary lull in demand. They will recover so long as they continue to do as they have done. Another contends that the educational program leading into legal practice is fundamentally flawed. It needs reform even if the marketplace improves. The recent economic crisis exposed problems that always had been there. I count myself among those who embrace the latter view. ...
The problem of legal education is more than one problem. At least three major concerns need to be addresses. First, there appears to be a glut of lawyers. ... Second, there is the cost structure of legal education. ... Third, there are the perennial complaints about the skills imparted during three years of formal schooling. ...
Put all this together. There has not been, in the recollection of anyone now living, a similar set of challenges for law schools. As with all such situations, however, leaders must spot the issues. We are in danger. We should not deny that.
I welcome the opportunity. We must cooperate -- bench, bar, teachers, students -- to take apart the system and put it back together again better.