f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

September 7, 2007

TCL asks “what can law schools do better?”

Filed under: lawyer news or ethics — David Giacalone @ 5:49 pm

The newest edition of the bi-monthly online magazine The Complete Lawyer was posted this afternoon and focuses on a topic that should interest every segment of the legal community (as well as the public that uses its services): What Can Law Schools Do Better? (September-October 2007, Vol. 3 #5)

Earlier this year, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released its report “Educating Lawyers,” and the Clinical Legal Education Association published Univ. of South Carolina law professor Roy Stuckey’s “Best Practices for Legal Education” (which you can download here). As Stuckey explains in his new TCL article, “Practicing Lawyers Can Change Legal Education“:

“Each study concluded that law schools over-emphasize teaching legal analysis and doctrinal knowledge, and virtually ignore teaching professional skills and values.

“The reports advocated that law schools broaden their educational objectives and make greater use of experiential and context-based learning in order to better prepare students for the practice of law.”

In an editorial titled “How Many Wake-up Calls Will It Take?“, Don Hutcheson, the Editor/Publisher of The Complete Lawyer, asks:

.. “In the face of this unrelenting challenge to change, how are law schools responding? In this edition of TCL we hear from law school deans and professors from across the country, from large law schools and small, who share their insights, experience, and hope on the critical topic: What can law schools do better?”

Don highlights a quote from Chester Irving Barnard (1886–1961), author of the influential management book Functions of the Executive: “We hire people for their skills, but the whole person shows up for work.” He ends his TCL editorial with this plea:

“I think that notion is as important today as it was in Barnard’s time—perhaps more so. Now more than ever, law schools need to prepare their students not simply for their careers but also for their lives as ethical, competent, and compassionate lawyers inclined to make a difference in their communities.”

Here are the articles you’ll find in the newest TCL, focusing on What Law Schools Can Do Better:

. . . . . .

  • Developing A Personal And Professional Identity In Law School – Neglecting the development of identity in law school is one key reason so many lawyers are dissatisfied with their lives. By Daisy Hurst Floyd, law school dean at Mercer Univeristy.
  • Turning Law Students Into Lawyers – A blend of experiential and doctrinal learning helps law students not only think like lawyers but act like them. By Case Western law professor Kenneth R. Margolis
  • I Blame Law Schools – I blame law schools for ignoring the importance of developing interpersonal skills and for failing to cultivate well-rounded graduates. By marketing columnist Alf Nucifora.

You’ll also find a Book Review by Pierce Law school’s Sophie Sparrow of Stuckey’s Best Practices for Leal Education book. (Prof. Sparrow is the recipient of the Inaugural Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Professionalism.)

TCL’s Weblog Directory – As of the Sept. 2007 edition, The Complete Lawyer has posted TCL’s Weblog Directory (which, as discussed below, I helped compile). The TCL Weblog Directory is an annotated, alphabetical list of over 110 law-related weblogs (blawgs) whose stated description or mission falls within TCL‘s scope: content that “focuses on the professionalism and quality of life and career issues that impact every lawyer’s success and satisfaction.” They explain:

“The directory is divided into two segments Legal Life and Legal Marketing. Legal Life covers weblogs whose mission includes Personal and Professional Development and Work/Life Balance; while the Legal Marketing list includes weblogs that focus or feature aspects of legal marketing. There are about 75 weblogs on the Legal Life list and 38 on Legal Marketing.”

  • Legal Life weblogs featuring personal and professional development and work/life balance
  • Legal Marketing – weblogs that focus on or feature various aspects of legal marketing

I first became familiar with The Complete Lawyer when approached by its editor Don Hutcheson to participate in its The Graying of Lawyers edition (July-Aug. 2007). Since then, because TCL covers so many topics that are important for the profession and ultimately its consumers (take a look at the Focus topics in its prior issues), I’ve been trying to attract attention within the legal weblog community for the publication. To that end, I compiled TCL’s Weblog Directory. Blame any omissions on me, and let me know if I’ve missed a site that deserves to be on the list [Leave me a comment or send an email to dag DOT law76 AT post DOT harvard DOT edu.]

fund drive
the ivy covered building
has a new name

……………………….. by Yu Chang from Upstate Dim Sum

september morning
none of the students
has failed

………………… by John Stevenson – Upstate Dim Sum (2003/II)

1 Comment

  1. Absolutely love the haiku for September 7th. There is a perfect balance between “ivy” and “new name” in Yu Chang’s piece and John Stevenson’s “september morning …” simply drives the nail in, then removes it, unbent. More forthcoming via snail mail. best, Don, Lilliput Reviw.

    Comment by Don Wentworth — September 9, 2007 @ 9:29 am

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