Three Models of Legal Education and a Plea for Differentiation

11 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2013 Last revised: 25 May 2015

See all articles by Jan M. Smits

Jan M. Smits

Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI)

Date Written: October 3, 2013

Abstract

In many parts of the world there is a continuing discussion about the best possible law curriculum and teaching method. Each of these discussions is shaped by the specificities of the country in question. This contribution aims to generalise from these national debates and identify three main driving forces behind them. The three main drivers identified here are the requirements that the university poses for any type of academic study, the demands of legal practice, and the expectations that society has of the legal profession. These three factors can be balanced in different ways. This is why a much needed differentiation among different types of law schools or law programmes is proposed. Law schools of the future should be much more conscious of the aims they want to achieve and make well-reasoned choices for one type of legal education or the other. The three models discussed in this contribution are Law as Doctrine, Liberal Law and Legal Engineering.

Keywords: Legal education, curriculum contents, effectus civilis, liberal law, legal engineering

Suggested Citation

Smits, Jan M., Three Models of Legal Education and a Plea for Differentiation (October 3, 2013). China-EU Law Journal 3 (2014), pp. 55-63 ; Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper 2013/12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2335635 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2335635

Jan M. Smits (Contact Author)

Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, NL-6200 MD
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.jansmits.eu

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