March 7, 2009
An early report from the folks of LEARN (Legal Education Analysis & Reform Network)
This past week I received a copy of an e-mail from the Steering Committee of LEARN (Legal Education Analysis & Reform Network) describing their project and early activities. Here is the start of the e-mail with a link to the group's first product:
Two years ago, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching published its report on legal education, entitled Educating Lawyers. Since that time, based on the high level of interest the report generated within the legal academy, the Foundation has joined with a group of law schools and law faculty to engage in further efforts to encourage reflection and innovation in legal education. Working with Stanford Law School, the Foundation has assembled a group of legal educators from ten law schools which had expressed particular interest in working on this phase of the project. (The ten schools are CUNY, Dayton, Georgetown, Harvard, Indiana-Bloomington, New Mexico, NYU, Southwestern, Stanford, and Vanderbilt.) The overall project has been named LEARN, which stands for Legal Education Analysis and Reform Network. We are writing to inform you about these ongoing efforts.
In December 2007 about 40 legal educators (three from each of the ten law schools identified above and ten other faculty members) met in Palo Alto to discuss strategies for change based on the themes explored in Educating Lawyers and other pedagogical goals. After two days of meetings, we identified three major themes around which these strategies cluster: (a) the structure of the law school curriculum as a whole; (b) the teaching enterprise as practiced by individual faculty members; and (c) the assessment of student learning. The participants divided themselves up into working groups to continue articulating and planning ways in which these strategies could be developed and pursued. (A list of each working group’s members appears in the beginning of the linked LEARN Report.)
After further conversations within and among the working groups, LEARN has now drafted an outline of the initial projects it plans to launch. This outline can be viewed at this link.
The three major themes of emphasis seem just right to me, and I am very much looking forward to learning a lot more from LEARN in the months and years to come.
Posted by DAB
March 7, 2009 | Permalink
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The triviality of the subjects is breathtaking. The sole conclusion is that these responsible insiders want to pretend to make changes, but to make none. I prefer to believe in their bad faith, than in their idiocy. I would not accept this useless outline from a high school government group.
Let's start slowly.
1) Every lawyer who has ever expressed himself on this subject, has said, he learned nothing in law school that he could use day 1 of being a lawyer. They have to get the advice of their secretaries on what to do. In all other fields, the grads emerge as just less experienced colleagues, because they have done the real work under supervision, and not as total novices cruising on summer intern experience.
2) The project proposes some audio-visual enhancements. No. Brick and mortar schools are dead down to kindergarten. The building and the mediocre staff is a total waste. The best kindergarten art teacher in the nation will get to teach kindergarten art to all the kindergarten students of the nation. There is not a hint these Deans have any awareness of such. All buildings, all paper, all on site work must be ruthlessly eradicated.
3) The indoctrination into supernatural, unlawful, core doctrines must stop. I do not want to argue this point. I invite the students to apply their personal experience to the following table. See for yourself which column best applies to law school. Contact me if anyone wants further discussion on this point.
4) The education is biased. The textbooks are Mein Kampfs for plaintiffs and for criminals. There is no balance about the severe damage the lawyer does to the nation. The lecturers are extreme left wingers. This bias makes the profession heinous. The law education is basically hate speech, devoid of facts or evidence for its biased teaching.
5) No fundamental questioning of assumptions is permitted, such as the profession is a criminal cult enterprise. One may only criticize the profession along lines that will generate more jobs, for example feminist, homosexual, terrorist, animal rights advocacy. OK, because they promote lawyer rent seeking, however bitter or strident the complaints by crybaby, overly lawyer entitled, parasites. Question the damages done to the country, and one is shunned.
6. Obsoleteness. Nothing from 1250 AD or 1870 AD is acceptable in current practice (except for the opnion of OW Holmes). There would be no lawsuit if any other product or service provider were to use practice from those days. There would be arrest to protect public safety.
7. Lawyers run the government. They are 100% responsible for all social problems, for the economic crisis, and the stagnation of our nation, instead of its pulling ahead by 9% a year. They run the government and very badly. They need to leave the government or get banned from it. If this debate does not happen in law school, where will it happen?
Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 7, 2009 11:58:12 PM
8. Prelaw courses should be required. These include Psychology 101. Punishment is the sole tool of the law. Technical aspects exist. Few judges or lawyers know them. I would start a Psych 101 For Lawyers Course. It would emphasize law relevant psychology other than operant conditioning. It would heavy on perception, psychopathology, cognition, with an emphasis on memory. I would suggest Sociology but the faculties are so biased to the left as to make them more damaging than useful. Another would be the philosophy of science, so that the term, evidence, in law and in science may merge.
9. Explicit, Black Boxed Warning about Grads. No graduate of law school is fit to be a judge, a legislator, or to hold any responsible policy position in the executive branch. The Rent Seeking Theory and Cult Indoctrination cause an irremediable conflict of interest. Furthermore, judging is a nearly unrelated profession to lawyering, analogous to engineer and construction worker.
10. Eliminate 3L. Replace it with mandatory rotating internship in a general law firm or government agency. After that, have 3 years of practice in a specialty firm for specialists. These should take a specialty exam at the end of the three years, as a marker of minimal quality for the public.
Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 10, 2009 9:32:38 PM
The smallest, and potentially most beneficial change in the above list is the addition of pre-law courses. Their content should be tested on the LSAT, as pre-med course content is tested on the MCAT, replacing the finding of the least wrong answer about a long passage of inscrutable BS.
The hidden agenda in this pre-law training is to try to immunize the pre-law student against the unlawful supernatural content to come in law school. The student might then demand that doctrines that will put people to death and transfer $trillions from productive people to less productive people in rent seeking, have a minimum of scientific reliability and validation.
Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 15, 2009 6:49:29 AM