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August 18, 2011

Seeking comments/thoughts in this (safe?) forum on law school scam blogging and ITLSS

Prompted in part by this new blog authored by the anonymous LawProf called "Inside the Law School Scam," and in part by a terrific former student who has been sending me e-mails with his perspective on the legal marketplace and law school realities, I have been giving extra thought of late to the concept of the modern law school as a scam.  This bit of extra thinking, in turn, has led me to read a bit more regularly a few of the sizeable number of law student scam blogs, such as:

I have lots of reactions to all this buzz about law school as a scam, but for now I just wanted to create a space here for discussion of these issues if anyone is interested in having a dialogue in a setting whether the rhetoric and emotion (and stakes?) are not running so high.

Posted by DAB

UPDATE:  The anonymous LawProf running the blog "Inside the Law School Scam" has now been outed as Professor Paul Campos at Colorado.  And Paul Caron has an extraordinary helpful round-up of all the buzzing in this post.

August 18, 2011 in Blogging by lawyers and law professors, The mission of law schools | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"What if law schools opened their own law firms?"

The title of this post is the headline of this interesting article in The National Law Journal, which begins this way:

Law schools have been pummeled with criticism for not producing practice-ready attorneys, so two law professors have come up with a novel fix: Law schools should operate their own law firms.

The school-owned firms would provide a training ground for recent graduates, but would function much like a normal firm, Brooklyn Law School Professor Bradley Borden and University of Maryland School of Law Professor Robert Rhee wrote in an article entitled, "The Law School Firm."  The piece will appear in a forthcoming issue of the South Carolina Law Review.

Borden and Rhee acknowledged that their idea constitutes a "radical" change from the existing law school model, but they contend that these firms would help recent graduates gain the skills they need to be successful at little expense — and possibly a profit — to law schools.

The firms would be entities distinct from the law schools, and would be professionally managed and generate revenue, although they would be operated as nonprofits. Senior attorneys would be hired to oversee the firms' practice areas, and recent law school graduates would spend fixed periods, perhaps three or six years, at the firm before moving on.

The concept is similar to that of judicial clerkships, Rhee said, in that freshly minted attorneys would spend a fixed amount of time at the firm and face no stigma when they leave.  Being in an actual, functioning law firm would offer a far more immersive learning experience than students could find in the classroom or even in a law school clinic, he said.

The law review article referenced above is now available at this link via SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

This Article introduces the concept of the law school firm.  The concept calls for law schools to establish affiliated law firms.  The affiliation would provide opportunities for students, faculty, and attorneys to collaborate and share resources to teach, research, write, serve clients, and influence the development of law and policy.  Based loosely on the medical school model, the law school firm will help bridge the gap between law schools and the practice of law.

Posted by DAB

August 18, 2011 in Legal profession realities and developments, Service -- legal profession, Serving students, The mission of law schools | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack