Open Letter: A Future for Legal Education

18 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2015 Last revised: 21 Feb 2018

Date Written: September 9, 2015


A deepening malady marks the present and threatens the future of legal education: not enough of it can be properly described as education, much of it is mere training, and the remainder is neither. The immediate cause of the malady of legal education is the prevailing structural bias of law schools toward three symbiotic attitudes, which I label practicism, minimalism, and parochialism. This open letter explains the nature and effects of practicism, minimalism, and parochialism before outlining four proposals for the future of legal education. This Open Letter derives from Paulo Barrozo, "Institutional Conditions of Contemporary Legal Thought" in C. Tomlins & J. Desautels-Stein (Eds.), Searching for Contemporary Legal Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Keywords: Legal Education, Practicism, Minimalism, Parochialism, Legal Thought, Education Reform, Doctorates

JEL Classification: I20, K10, K30, K40

Suggested Citation

Barrozo, Paulo, Open Letter: A Future for Legal Education (September 9, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Paulo Barrozo (Contact Author)

Boston College - Law School ( email )

885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459-1163
United States
(617)552-4388 (Phone)

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