Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2325022
 


 



Bramble Bush Revisited: Karl Llewellyn, the Great Depression, and the First Law School Crisis, 1929-1939


Anders Walker


Saint Louis University - School of Law

September 12, 2013

Journal of Legal Education (Forthcoming)
Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-26

Abstract:     
This article recovers the plight of legal education during the Great Depression, showing how debates over practical training, theoretical research and the appropriate length of law school all emerged in the 1930s. Using Bramble Bush author Karl Llewellyn as a guide, it strives to make three points. One, Depression-era critics of law school called for increased attention to practical skills, like today, but also a more inter-disciplinary curriculum – something current reformers discount. Two, the push for theoretical, policy-oriented courses in the 1930s set the stage for claims that law graduates deserved more than a Bachelor of Laws degree, bolstering the move away from a two year LL.B. and towards a mandatory three year Juris Doctor, or J.D. The rise of the J.D. following World War II, this article concludes, heightened the role of inter-disciplinary work in the first three years, even as it substantially diminished the role of advanced, graduate-level research, a point worth recalling as law school reformers, the ABA and, even the President of the United States lobby for shorter, more-practice oriented programs. While such proposals may be prudent, they may also warrant a return to plural law degrees.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: legal education, law school crisis, 3L, Llewellyn, Wechsler, Great Depression

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Date posted: September 13, 2013 ; Last revised: May 20, 2014

Suggested Citation

Walker, Anders, Bramble Bush Revisited: Karl Llewellyn, the Great Depression, and the First Law School Crisis, 1929-1939 (September 12, 2013). Journal of Legal Education (Forthcoming); Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-26. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2325022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2325022

Contact Information

Anders Walker (Contact Author)
Saint Louis University - School of Law ( email )
100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108
United States

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