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December 7, 2007

Law School Reform and the Carnegie Report

Bill Henderson raises concerns about whether Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (2007)("Carnegie Report") can be a significant catalyst for law school reform because the Carnegie Report fails to offer (1) "a careful assessment of the institutional incentives that have created and perpetuate the current system" and (2) "creative strategies for breaking down or subverting those institutional forces in a way that produces a greater good," both, in his opinion, minimum requirements for systemic reform of legal education. Read more about it at Empirical Legal Studies.

Hat tip to Julie Jones, Law Librarian Blog-- Joe Hodnicki

December 7, 2007 in Reform | Permalink


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Institutional incentives always leans towards the status quo. That's what institutions are for. Any analysis that starts with the institution will inevitably lead to paralysis. This assessment of law schools' institutional incentives is accurate and useful, but premature.

A reform movement has to start with people and their motivations and aspirations. Only when enough people share common cause is there hope for change -- and only then is the institutional question ripe for analysis as a strategic, not existential, matter.

It baffles me that everyone who writes about the Carnegie Report becomes pessimistic and talks about some abstract "them" that keeps reform from happening. And yet there are enough voices supporting the Report that I begin to wonder who "they" are.

Posted by: Gene Koo | Dec 20, 2007 2:36:44 PM

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