Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1619798
 


 



Acting Like Lawyers


Drew Coursin


Perkins Coie LLP

June 3, 2010

Wisconsin Law Review, Vol. 2010, pp. 1461-1500, 2010

Abstract:     
In the past, learning to “think like a lawyer” was enough to succeed in law school and beyond. Those days are gone. Leaner economic times have made legal employers hungry for better-qualified candidates. Educators and practitioners alike turn a critical eye to recent law school graduates, and find them lacking. The traditional assumption that good law students make good lawyers has crumbled. The blame for students’ inability to demonstrate essential lawyering skills falls squarely on law schools’ shoulders.

Calls for reform in legal education span more than thirty years, from the ABA’s Cramton and MacCrate Reports, to the Carnegie Foundation’s effort to spur change. Although some forward-thinking educators moved away from traditional methods, most law schools maintain a “business as usual” attitude. Legal education remains a lumbering behemoth of theory and outmoded pedagogy. Employers need capable lawyers, students need skills, and neither group can succeed in a grim economy unless legal education changes. The solution lies in action. Teaching law students to act like lawyers requires a significant shift in focus. This Comment describes the necessity and feasibility of reform, explores the evolution of legal education, and then turns to medical education for a novel framework for teaching legal skills. Finally, this Comment introduces one version of an adaptable, practical skills-based legal rotations model, which law schools may use as a template for future innovation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: Legal education, Carnegie, MacCrate, medical school, pedagogy, apprenticeship, experiential

JEL Classification: I2, K

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: June 4, 2010 ; Last revised: November 15, 2011

Suggested Citation

Coursin, Drew, Acting Like Lawyers (June 3, 2010). Wisconsin Law Review, Vol. 2010, pp. 1461-1500, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1619798

Contact Information

Drew Coursin (Contact Author)
Perkins Coie LLP ( email )
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 774
Downloads: 180
Download Rank: 99,781

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.344 seconds