Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1340067
 


 



Rediscovering the Lawyer School: Curriculum Reform in Wisconsin


Keith A. Findley


University of Wisconsin Law School

2006-2007

Wisconsin International Law Journal, Vol. 24, 2006-07
Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1074

Abstract:     
From America's inception through the Civil War, legal education was entirely practice-oriented; it was based not on academic study at a university, but consisted almost exclusively of apprenticeship with a practicing lawyer. As the study of law moved from apprenticeships in law firms to university-based law schools, the method of study became more theoretical. After the 1870s, Langdell's case method became the dominant model of studying and teaching the law. Gradually, law schools became more abstract and theoretical, and less grounded in the practice of law. Increasingly, practicing lawyers and judges complained that law schools were not preparing law students who were ready for the practice of law in terms of either the skills or the values necessary for effective practice. This article explores the history of legal education, the calls for greater relevance, and the ways law schools such as the University of Wisconsin can reform their curricula to respond to these concerns.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: curriculum reform, legal education, clinical education, Langdell, Socratic method, case method

JEL Classification: K40

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Date posted: February 11, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Findley, Keith A., Rediscovering the Lawyer School: Curriculum Reform in Wisconsin (2006-2007). Wisconsin International Law Journal, Vol. 24, 2006-07; Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1074. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1340067

Contact Information

Keith A. Findley (Contact Author)
University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-262-4763 (Phone)
608-263-3380 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.wisc.edu/facstaff/biog.php?iID=269
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