Tuesday, July 10, 2018
David McGowan (San Diego), Legal Education and the Ethics of Acceptance:
This paper reflects comments made at the 2018 AALS annual meeting regarding positive and normative critiques of the ethics of legal education. Adopting a nexus of contracts approach, the paper argues that guild practices interfere with reasonable student expectations from a normative perspective, though not as a matter of positive law. The difference between the study of law as an object and the study of law as a practice, and the different payoff structures to the two approaches, accounts for some of this difference, but guild considerations are the root cause. The paper advocates greater flexibility in accreditation standards to facilitate experimentation with different models.