Good introduction by Elizabeth Chambless -- feasibility, impact? These were defined as essential for the success of the proposals. Not all proposals presented are summarised below. All of them are interesting, though, and can be found on the NYLS web site here.
John Garvey (U of New Hampshire) and I present on our joint project to develop a new form of sim using SCs and SIMPLE (slides). If you want to follow up the discussions, please feel free to post comments here...
Session 3 focused on the view from regulators -- see the conference page at NYLS for a list of those taking part. Stephen Zack, ABA President, was useful on the dilemmas faced by regulators. But yr intrepid correspondent was beginning to pall at a full day of panel sessions, and excused himself from half of the next, on Globalization, Lawyers and Emerging Economies - A Theoretical Synthesis, to take a blustery walk around Harvard Yard. This last session's topic is fascinating in itself, of the half that I caught, it was really a sociolegal/profession session on globalisation rather than a session on globalisation of/and legal education.
Later that evening over dinner Martha Minow gave a characteristically rich and well-pitched talk on legal education, referencing law school reform, Carnegie and Sesame St. She listed some of what needed doing, warned against getting rid of what law schools did well (problem analysis). No mention of the Sheldon & Krieger literature, eg? Or the documented negative effects that law school has on our students? She quoted Twining on the law school dilemma:
in all Western societies law schools are typically in a tug of war between three aspirations: to be accepted as full members of the community of higher learning; to be relatively detached, but nonetheless engaged, critics and censors of law in society; and to be service-institutions for a profession which is itself caught between noble ideals, lucrative service of powerful interests and unromantic cleaning up of society’s messes.
(Twining, W. (1982) The Benson report and legal education: a personal view, in: P.A. Thomas (ed.) Law in the Balance: Legal Services in the 1980s (Oxford, Robertson).
Which I also quote in my book, in the final chapter. My next comment:
Where might we start with this situation? A strong pragmatism would probably plan to start with the last phrase – with society’s messes.
Doubtful if she would agree with that Deweyan approach; but she was funny, gracious, and had actually taken the time to read the proposals that will be presented on the second day of the conference, which did impress me.
Keynote by CEO of the Legal Services Board. Good to see him at this conference because, as David Wilkins pointed out in introducing him, his organisation is taking seriously the issues also facing the ABA. More below the fold, adapted from his slides.
In the first panel session of the conference (Global Perspectives on Legal Education), interesting though rather general presentations. Daniel Foote gave a comprehensive, detailed portrait of reform failure in Japan, where in spite of efforts to the contrary, the Bar Exam is being treated as a strait gateway by entrenched interests in the legal profession to restrict entry to the legal profession. There are of course other institutions involved, eg Minstry of Education, Justice, the Supremem Court, prep schools etc. There was no evidence that increased numbers actually decreased quality. Above all, changing the mindset of academics was critical, and still is. Good presentation.
Interesting questions re ABA accreditation of foreign law schools, ably caught by Raj Kumar in his response. a
Second panel was on Cross-Professional Comparison. Good presentation by Jules Dienstag, on medical education and the possible synergies with legal education. Outstanding contributions by Kuresh Khurana on a whole range of socio-business, sociolegal & accreditation issues. More interesting panel to me at least because it was more practical: theory arising from practice issues.
Oliver Goodenough’s comment about books and the Langdellian revolution stuck in my mind. A key issue is whether the technology of book production stimulated the revolution, or whether it was simply co-opted by legal academics as a useful technology and had no impact upon the dissemination of the method.
Long hiatus -- got caught up in writing deadlines gridlock which I'm still not clear of. Plus I'm uneasy with the direction that Typepad are taking their blogging software (too commercial for me) and am looking for alternatives, probably Wordpress, combining this with a more substantial site with publications etc. Still planning that. Meanwhile, am in Harvard Law School for the FutureEd Conference, more of which tomorrow, and today's outing, the Educating the Digital Lawyer workshop, hosted by The Law Lab, a project of the Berkman Centre for Internet & Society. More on this below the fold.
This is a plenary presentation being given at the IJCLE Conference at Northumbria Law School. Keynote slides at the usual place. It focuses on the place of Francis Hutcheson in an alternative tradition to that of the liberal law school, calling on Dewey and others; and is a version of a chapter I've written for Julian Webb's edited collection on legal education, to be published later this year. Comments welcome from those present who heard it, and anyone else!
Been thinking about this, since we're engaged in a project that incorporates them at Northumbria Law School. Talking to staff today it was borne in on me yet again how much lectures are culturally more sophisticated events than we tend to