Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"How to fix law schools"? TNR asked six "experts" [sic]...

 ...meaning one gossip columnist who went to law school, one longtime law professor, two journalists who went to law school, one "journalist moonlighting as a law professor", and one in-house counsel.  In short, they asked no experts on legal pedagogy, the economics of legal education, or the legal profession, just a group of pontificators (plus one lawyer) with varying degrees of familiarity with law schools.  Most of what they have to say is silly and irrelevant, with two exceptions:  the longtime law professor (Dershowitz) offers his own version of the 2-year JD idea that others have floated; and the in-house counsel for Cisco reveals an interesting plan, which should offer some useful experience to some students:

Colorado University Law School's visionary dean Philip J. Weiser is working to implement this program next year: Students will work as interns at Cisco for seven months–from June of the second year of law school until the following January, and potentially part-time during the following spring. We will pay them as we do our customary interns, and the students will not be required to pay tuition to the law school for the fall semester. The students will be supervised by a faculty member during the fall through an intensive credit-earning independent study project, and the students will also take extra courses during the rest of law school to ensure sufficient ABA-approved credits to graduate.  

 One can guess which member of the Colorado law faculty will not be asked to supervise anyone!

TNR also ran a sensationalistic and fact-free article on Chicago-based Mayer Brown in the same issue.  Even I would expect a bit more from TNR, but when it comes to law schools, careless journalism is increasingly the norm.


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