Monday, November 28, 2011
The Times has published a series of articles criticizing American law schools; over the weekend, the paper editorialized on the topic, pronouncing that "American legal education is in crisis." It appears that there are no Thomists on the NYT editorial board:
The case method has been the foundation of legal education for 140 years. Its premise was that students would learn legal reasoning by studying appellate rulings. That approach treated law as a form of science and as a source of truth.
That vision was dated by the 1920s. It was a relic by the 1960s. Law is now regarded as a means rather than an end, a tool for solving problems.
I do think that law schools need to get better at training students in the practice of law, especially in the second and third years. I'm pretty sure, though, that viewing law "as a source of truth" should not bear the brunt of blame for what ails legal education.
UPDATE: I note that Marc DeGirolami commented on the editorial over at his non-MoJ blogging perch.