Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Monday, August 24, 2009

UC Irvine Law Starts Classes Today

And they got a nice 'welcome' in a front-page story in the Los Angeles Times this past Friday.  The 1L curriculum is quite interesting.  Lawyer/mentors for each 1L could prove to be a brilliant innovation.  Teaching fact investigation also seems an inspired idea.  I do wonder about legal ethics in the first year--good PR for the school, but will it make sense to those brand new to the law?  Some of the course titles puzzled me, since they imply that there are forms of "legal analysis" peculiar to different substantive areas of law, whereas that actually isn't true in most cases (statutory interpretation is a possible exception).  In any case, that's more a matter of titles than substance, judging from the descriptions.  Whether this curriculum catches on will no doubt depend on how UCI graduates fare down the line.  I'm sure many law schools will be watching with interest.

UPDATE:  A reader points out that St. Thomas (Minneapolis) already has a lawyer mentor program for law students.

ANOTHER:  Turns out UCI had the wrong description for the 'legal profession' course on the website (it's now fixed)--the course 1Ls will take won't be legal ethics, as much as introducing the profession and the professional roles that lawyers fulfill and the settings in which they practice, which will surely be more meaningful to those new to law study.

ONE MORE:  Elon University School of Law has also had a mentorship program for some time.

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