Letting Go of Old Ideas (Book Review)
William D. Henderson
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Michigan Law Review, Vol. 114, No. 6, 2014
Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 273
Two recently published books apply a rigorous analytical lens to the same topic — the state of the legal profession — and come to dramatically different conclusions. Yet, what is more remarkable is the fact that the authors’ analyses neither overlap nor conflict with one another. One is backward-looking and filled with regret at the legacy we have squandered (Steven Harper’s The Lawyer Bubble); the other is forward-looking and bound to inspire a mix of fear and hope among its readers (Richard Susskind’s Tomorrow’s Lawyers).
Similarly, there’s been a lot of public handwringing in recent years over the state of the legal industry, with some arguing that we are in crisis and others countering that the real problem is overzealous critics. Those looking for a common narrative to unify and lead law practitioners and students must grapple with these two important books. In this review, I suggest that arriving at such an understanding requires each of us to do something uncomfortable and unnatural — let go of old ideas.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: Susskind, Harper, law firms, legal education, rankings
JEL Classification: I20, I21, J24, J44, J62, L22, L84,Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 11, 2014 ; Last revised: March 18, 2014
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