Reflections: Personal and Institutional, On the Past and Future Southeastern Association of Law Schools
University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review, Vol. 86, No. 3, 2018
18 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2018
Date Written: 2018
This essay appears with a collection of papers reflecting on the history and changing role of the South Eastern Law Schools Association. In my contribution I provide a context for the SEALS in the world of legal education. Legal education came into the university in the late 19th century. From the outset it was rather awkward, Janus faced with an allegiance to the legal profession and an emerging commitment to the scholarly ideals of the university. The tension has remained. The value of SEALS has been to provide a forum for a scholarly community to share ideas and enjoy the fruits of the life of the mind. In this piece I provide a description of the life and times of SEALS. This requires a framework for considering the value of SEALS as it sails into the future. I make some comparisons with the Association of American Law Schools. The forces of the history of legal education in the republic are set forth to give a sense of how it may function as a kind of learned society. But I venture to say that nothing is certain. The tensions noted remain and potentially undermine the legal education endeavor. In particular financial rigors of the last decade has reduced the social capital of law schools that a well-functioning SEALS may help restore.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation