Global Alternatives in Legal Education for a Global Legal Profession

Stephen C. Hicks

Suffolk University Law School

Parallax: A Journal of International Perspectives, Vol. 3, p. 47, 2006

This paper presents the view that U.S. legal education has not changed very much from its early nineteenth century roots with the result that most law schools are ill prepared to teach students about the present world, let alone the future of legal practice as it will be for the next generation. The technological revolution that has been driving globalization for at least fifteen years forces educators to develop comparative and international perspectives, not just internally for particular substantive areas of law, but externally for the direction of whole institutions. It is the content, the delivery and the protection of information that law now has to protect, as it once protected rank, property, and then the individual and eventually abstractions such as emotional peace of mind, privacy and dignity. Intellectual property may be the newest area of law to study but it is part of a profound shift in the way lawyers practice today for it is the leading edge of a new kind of law and lawyering, which is best thought of as "transnational" that is, not local or domestic, and not public or international, but private problem solving across borders of multi-faceted disputes concerning businesses, trade, domestic relations, realty, and assets such as pensions and insurance policies of people working, marrying and living in one or more countries all their lives while retaining their birth citizenship. Technology is making possible transnational living too. Many people lead virtual lives in various different countries. This change is finally being felt in the U.S. On the one hand, U.S. legal education is universally respected and U.S. law is the key component of international business. But on the other hand, U.S. law schools have been slow to internationalize and creatively respond to the new transnational, globalized world of law. This paper outlines some ways for law schools to grapple with this.

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Date posted: April 23, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Hicks, Stephen C., Global Alternatives in Legal Education for a Global Legal Profession. Parallax: A Journal of International Perspectives, Vol. 3, p. 47, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=981421

Contact Information

Stephen C. Hicks (Contact Author)
Suffolk University Law School ( email )
120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States
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