The Way Forward for Legal Education

The Way Forward for Legal Education, Carolina Academic Press (2023)

U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 22-20

22 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2022 Last revised: 1 Mar 2023

See all articles by David I. C. Thomson

David I. C. Thomson

University of Denver, Sturm College of Law

Date Written: January 3, 2023

Abstract

This book (of which this paper is an excerpt) offers a post-pandemic vision for the future of legal education and charts a path to get there. Among the book's recommendations are that schools must dispense with the LSAT and develop an alternative non-discriminatory admissions process. Further, that law schools should admit a much larger cohort to the 1L year, at much reduced cost, and put most of 1L content online in a hybrid format. It suggests that a "baby bar" be administered at the end of the first year, with only roughly half passing into second year and the rest awarded a master's degree in American Law, which will become a credential to become an Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT), the expansion of which will help address the critical justice gap that we currently have in the legal system. It argues for the expansion of experiential learning and the intentional formation of professional identity in the 2L and 3L years. While these proposals may seem radical at first, many of them are already happening in various natural experiments around legal education, and the ABA is already moving in this direction. This book provides comprehensive guidance on how these proposals can be gradually adopted, with the goal that they spread throughout legal education over the next decade. More information about this book can be found here: https://cap-press.com/books/isbn/9781531023966/The-Way-Forward-for-Legal-Education

Keywords: Legal education, online learning, professional identity, experiential learning, hybrid future, LSAT, service orientation, LLLT, bar examination

JEL Classification: I21, I24, K00

Suggested Citation

Thomson, David I. C., The Way Forward for Legal Education (January 3, 2023). The Way Forward for Legal Education, Carolina Academic Press (2023), U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 22-20, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4300580 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4300580

David I. C. Thomson (Contact Author)

University of Denver, Sturm College of Law ( email )

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States

HOME PAGE: http://tinyurl.com/DThomsonBio

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