The Future of Legal Education: Three Visions and a Prediction

14 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2013 Last revised: 26 Nov 2014

See all articles by Harry W. Arthurs

Harry W. Arthurs

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: September 27, 2013


I’m going to present three quite different views of what law schools ought to be and ought to do. The first holds that their primary, if not their sole, function should be to produce "practice-ready lawyers" for today’s profession. The second is that they should produce "tomorrow’s lawyers", lawyers with the capacity to adapt to the rapidly and radically changing circumstances of legal practice. And the third is that law schools should play a leading role in the creation and transformation of legal knowledge, legal practice, and the legal system — a role that requires them to provide their students with a large and liberal understanding of law that will prepare them for a variety of legal and non-legal careers. I’ll end by making a prediction about which model represents the future of law school. Or perhaps you’ve guessed already.

Keywords: future, legal, education, law, school

Suggested Citation

Arthurs, Harry W., The Future of Legal Education: Three Visions and a Prediction (September 27, 2013). Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 49/2013, Available at SSRN: or

Harry W. Arthurs (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3

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