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This is about books.  It’s about legal education casebooks.  A lot of what follows comes out of my experience as a law professor and speaks to law schools and law students and the legal profession.  A lot of it dovetails with closely related questions about books and teaching and education in colleges and universities generally. But I’m not writing principally for the benefit of my faculty colleagues.  I’m writing principally for the benefit of practicing…
This post concludes a long response to a terrific recent piece by Mark Cohen, in which he critiqued law schools for failing to respond appropriately and systematically to an emerging “skills gap” between baseline legal education and the needs of the technology-dependent legal market.  The first part of the response, from two weeks ago, agreed with the gist of the critique but introduced the idea that the critique opens a broader window on…
This post continues a long response to a terrific recent piece by Mark Cohen, in which he critiqued law schools for failing to respond appropriately and systematically to an emerging “skills gap” between baseline legal education and the needs of the technology-dependent legal market. The first part of the response, from last week, agreed with the gist of the critique but introduced the idea that it opens a broader window on the relationship between…
US law schools today are subjected to a lot of criticism, much of it deserved. One big chunk that is not always deserved is this: Law schools aren’t sufficiently in tune with the needs of the market. That’s the topic of this post and others to come: What, when, how, and why should law schools care about the market? For the moment, I set aside other common critiques of legal education, many of which are…
Change is one of the themes of this rebooted blog.  In law, legal services, the legal profession, and legal education, what does change look like?  Why and how is change happening?  How can we accelerate the pace of needed change?  What does change management in the law look like, if we want to produce better lawyers, more nimble and flexible law schools, improve access to justice, expand the range and impact of legaltech, and more?…
Last week, I wrote about training T-shaped lawyers and about the challenges that law schools face in matching their traditional strengths to the emerging interests and needs of the legal services industry. I promised an example of those challenges: leadership education. For the first time in my experience in the law, and perhaps for the first time in their institutional history, US law schools have started to invest resources in training law students and new…
Talk around “legaltech” and related legal innovation environments has focused recently on “T-shaped” lawyers. “T-shaped” lingo has even penetrated some parts of BigLaw. These conversations apply to law the “T-shaped” concept that has circulated in professional development circles for a bit longer, arguing that successful professionals increasingly need not only deep technical skills in the relevant discipline (the vertical bar) but also a solid suite of related general skills (the horizontal bar). What’s right, what’s…
Last week’s post, about “The New Look of Legal Education,” emphasized the ways in which contemporary US legal education strongly resembles the legal education of the last several decades. In many respects, the core of the current JD program remains tethered to the innovations of Christopher Columbus Langdell at Harvard in the 1870s:  law taught as an academic discipline, rather than as a professional craft; law taught by full-time faculty members, rather than primarily via…
For most of this blog’s existence, I and my co-authors wrote primarily for our fellow law professors. This re-boot is directed instead, primarily, to the legal profession – or rather, to what is now often referred to as the “legal services industry.” With my change in focus, from time to time I’ll write here about what’s changing and what’s staying largely the same in legal education. My conversations with practicing lawyers and judges tell me…
I was invited recently to have madisonian.net included in Kevin O’Keefe’s new “LexBlog” venture (https://www.lexblog.com/about/). Accepting the invitation, which I did, implied that I might resume writing here, so I am. What’s new? Since the last signs of life flickered at madisonian.net, in connection with the “Invitation Regarding Law and Legal Education, and Imagining the Future” and the symposium at Prawfsblawg that it provoked, a small but ambitious crew of “disruptors” from…