The Maccrate Report and Education in Law Firm Management and the Use of Technology in Law Firms

41 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2003

Date Written: March 2003


Beginning in the 1950's reformers proposed law school courses and clinics that would teach practical skills through individualized instruction, simulations, and clinical experiences. This reform effort was reinforced by a series of task force studies and reports from various committees of the American Bar Association, culminating in the 1992 MacCrate Report. The MacCrate Task Force identified ten fundamental lawyering skills and four professional values essential to lawyers. The ninth "fundamental skill" was entitled "Organization and Management of Legal Work." This paper measures the efforts of law schools to promote this fundamental skill.

A survey of law school catalogs for 2001 shows only about 57 schools listing a course in Law Practice Management, still less than one third of the accredited law schools. Enrollment is available for no more than one and one half per cent of the students able to take the courses. Similarly, the literature of law practice management does not seem to have grown as a result of the MacCrate Report. The increase in articles whose subject is law practice management trails the general increase in legal articles published in 1990-1991 and 2000-2001.

The most promising developments in law schools relate to the increased reliance on computers and other technology in education, which can translate into the law firm setting to increase productivity, increase customer loyalty, and support the effectiveness of professionals in their practices. The initiator of this response is not the MacCrate Report itself, but the market for legal and professional services.

Keywords: Law Practice Management, Legal Education

JEL Classification: K49

Suggested Citation

Steele (deceased), Thomas McKnight, The Maccrate Report and Education in Law Firm Management and the Use of Technology in Law Firms (March 2003). Available at SSRN: or

Thomas McKnight Steele (deceased) (Contact Author)

Wake Forest University, School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 7206
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States
336-758-5440 (Phone)
336-758-4496 (Fax)

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