Legal Education in Crisis, and Why Law Libraries are Doomed

37 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2013

Date Written: December 20, 2013


The dual crises facing legal education - the economic crisis affecting both the job market and the pool of law school applicants, and the crisis of confidence in the ability of law schools and the ABA accreditation process to meet the needs of lawyers or society at large - have undermined the case for not only the autonomy, but the very existence, of law school libraries as we have known them. Legal education in the United States is about to undergo a long-term contraction, and law libraries will be among the first to go. A few law schools may abandon the traditional law library completely. Some law schools will see their libraries whittled away bit by bit as they attempt to answer “the Yirka Question” in the face of shrinking resources, reexamined priorities, and university centralization. What choices individual schools make will largely be driven by how they play the status game.

Keywords: law libraries, legal education, law schools, rankings, reputation

Suggested Citation

Milles, James G., Legal Education in Crisis, and Why Law Libraries are Doomed (December 20, 2013). SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-015, Available at SSRN:

James G. Milles (Contact Author)

SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )

419 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716-553-9154 (Phone)

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