Letting Go of Old Ideas (Book Review)

23 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2014 Last revised: 18 Mar 2014

See all articles by William D. Henderson

William D. Henderson

Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Date Written: 2013


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.

Keywords: Susskind, Harper, law firms, legal education, rankings

JEL Classification: I20, I21, J24, J44, J62, L22, L84,

Suggested Citation

Henderson, William D., Letting Go of Old Ideas (Book Review) (2013). Michigan Law Review, Vol. 114, No. 6, 2014, Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 273, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2356405

William D. Henderson (Contact Author)

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-856-1788 (Phone)
812-855-0555 (Fax)

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