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Legal Education

Legal Education

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Published by Vakho
Dean Martha Minow's (Dean of Harvard Law School ) survey of "The Past, Present, and Future of Legal Education: HLS and Beyond.”

The link: http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/spotlight/classroom/minow_hls-and-beyond.html
Dean Martha Minow's (Dean of Harvard Law School ) survey of "The Past, Present, and Future of Legal Education: HLS and Beyond.”

The link: http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/spotlight/classroom/minow_hls-and-beyond.html

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Published by: Vakho on Apr 23, 2010
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08/20/2010

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1Legal Education: Past, Present and FutureMartha MinowApril 5, 2010“Plato tells us that, of all kind of knowledge, the knowledge of good laws may do mostfor the learner. A deep study of the science of law, he adds, may do more than all other writing to give soundness to our judgment and stability to the state.” So explained RoscoePound in 1923, though I confess, I found this work reprinted in a 1999 2-volumecollection on The History of Legal Education in the United States: Commentaries andPrimary Sources.
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As I explore the past, present, and future of legal education— I willconsider what legal knowledge enables and shifting views about what a deep study of lawentails. But I can’t help reporting something I learned while researching that 2 volumecollection on the History of Legal Education in the United States.I decided to explore the feature on Amazon—“customers who bought this item also bought”—which apparently uses the same algorithm as the Facebook “friending” program—and I found that people who bought Steve Sheppard’s 2 volumes of TheHistory of Legal Education in the United States: Commentaries and Primary Sourcesalso bought:
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Roscoe Pound, the Work of the American Law School (1923), reprinted in SteveShepperd, II The History of Legal Education in the United States 678 (1999). Poundcontinued, “If we are to do our duty by the common law in the 20
th
century, we mustmake it a living system of doing justice for the society of today and tomorrow, as theframers of our polity made of the traditional materials of their generation an instrument of  justice for that time and ours.” Id., at 687.
 
2Amartya Sen’s The Idea of Justice—so far so goodLaura Kalman’s Yale Law School and the Sixties: Revolt and Reverberations (Studies inLegal History) –ok, I think, that’s worth a look But the purchases reported were books entitled:Education HellPedagogy of the OppressedHow soccer explains the worldThe making of rehabilitation:Things invisible to seeAnd then, not a book at all—but an air mattress—I guess that’s what legal education’shistory inspired for one reader.So, sit back and relax, and snooze if necessary!But actually, this is not a moment to snooze. This is an incredibly exciting time in legaleducation—a time of innovation, a time of renewal. This is a moment when manycountries are creating new law schools; some following a US model, which itself is muchinfluenced by Harvard; others, like Jindall in India, the Peking School of TransnationalLaw in China, new law schools in Italy and Brazil, and a revamped program at McGill inMontreal, Canada—take up the challenge of teaching lawyers who plan to operateglobally, across legal systems.
 
3Of course, some of the themes and issues for legal education have persisted for more thana century. William Twining wrote in 1994, in “all Western societies law school aretypically caught in a tug of war between three aspirations: to be accepted as full membersof the community of higher learning; to be relatively detached, but nonetheless engaged,critics and censors of law in society; and to be the service-institutions for a professionwhich is itself caught between noble ideals, lucrative service of powerful interests andunromantic cleaning up of society’s messes.”
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 I find such tensions healthy. They manifest the unique position of law schools as a bridge between theory and practice, between law and justice, between ideals and needs.We want purely academic inquiry, engaged critique of law operating in society, andassistance to a profession that is itself caught between doing well and doing good, servingthe haves and the have-nots. These points of emphasis have undergone three phases, as Iwill explore, and we are on the brink of a fourth. Now more than ever, law schools havea chance to do something historic and influential, both in how we equip students and howwe orient the law school’s own resources and convening power.Like law itself, law schools have the capacity to retain traditions and to enable change, to protect expectations and to inspire reform. I will sketch three past periods of legal
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William Twining, Blackstone’s Tower: The English Law School (1994).

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