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Liberating Legal Education from the Judicial Model

44 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2007 Last revised: 9 Dec 2012

Muriel Morisey

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law


The emphasis in legal pedagogy on the judicial model of legal decisionmaking comes at the expense of adequate attention to the lawmaking activities of legislators and administrative regulators. The judicial model acquaints students with the development of law through the resolution of articulated disputes among specifically identifies parties. But most leave law school ill-prepared to be effective advocates and advisors for clients involved with legislative and regulatory decision makers. This observation resonates with the laments of some legal scholars over several decades, yet the problem persists. This essay delineates how legislative and regulatory decisionmaking differ from litigation in ways that make the judicial model an insufficient basis for instruction. It summarizes the implications of those distinctions for legal education and society beyond the legal academy. Finally, this essay offers reasons for problem's persistence and recommends ways in which legal educators and publishers of legal instruction materials can make useful changes.

Keywords: legal education, judges, Congress, administrative law, legislation

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K30, K39, K40 K49

Suggested Citation

Morisey, Muriel, Liberating Legal Education from the Judicial Model. Seton Hall Legislative Journal, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2003. Available at SSRN:

Muriel Morisey (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-3220 (Phone)
215-204-1185 (Fax)

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