Paul L. Caron

Friday, June 28, 2013

Rapoport: Rethinking U.S. Legal Education

Nancy B. Rapoport (Interim Dean, UNLV), Rethinking U.S. Legal Education: No More 'Same Old, Same Old', 45 Conn. L. Rev. 1409 (2013):

In this Essay, I suggest that we should think about how to create a curriculum that encourages students to develop a variety of skill sets. Law students simply don’t need three years of Socratic questioning regarding the fine details of court opinions. They need a wide range of experiences, preferably building on skill sets (like the twenty-six Berkeley factors) that effective lawyers have developed. A law school’s curriculum should have courses that focus on different factors in each year of law school. Ultimately, what we should be teaching law students is how to develop the judgment to advise clients. Teaching students how to think about the law is no longer – and probably never was – enough.

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The type of teaching that occurs should depend on what the majority of students are likely to do in their careers. The Yale curriculum is fine for Yalies (appellate litigation, doctrinal corporate law, constitutional theory, etc.), but not for UNLV, where most of the students will become PDs/DAs or work in a small firm. At Yale, it's biglaw or academia.

Posted by: JM | Jun 28, 2013 12:42:13 PM