Friday, March 27, 2009

A practical approach to law school? Arthur Miller thinks so . . .

Last month, I wrote an article advocating a "Medical Based Approach" to legal education.  Today, I came across an interesting YouTube clip featuring NYU Law Professor and noted civil procedure scholar Arthur Miller discussing what he opines is a "great disservice" law schools are doing their students these days.  Specifically, he recognizes that, today more than ever in his career, there exists the largest disconnect between the "practicing branch" and the "academic branch" of the legal profession.  

With forceful language, he notes (and I think correctly) that "less attention is being devoted to the skill set for the practicing lawyer"--particularly with respect to legal research and writing.  Why?  "The answer, in part, is that some of . . . [law school's most] basic subjects have simply gotten crowded out by making more academic time available for things that didn't even exist when [he] was . . . a young academic."  The practicing lawyers, who account for roughly 90% of law school graduates, he suggests, are not getting the "skill set development . . . they used to, and part of that skill set is research . . . and its first cousin, writing."

Here is the full video.  If you like, take a look at my post before watching.  Enjoy.


  1. As a newly practicing attorney, I could not agree more with the sentiment that the law school curriculum/method of teaching is completely out of touch with what practicing attorneys need to become good attorneys.

  2. we have to change the curriculum....I think that is undeniable. But, theory is still important.

  3. Look whose talking. Hard to take Arthur Miller's critique of legal education when he's a driving force behind the status quo.


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