Improving Law School EducationHow do you think law schools can improve education of students in the Millenial generation?  Most of them are crying out for something more than the traditional case...

Improving Law School Education

How do you think law schools can improve education of students in the Millenial generation?  Most of them are crying out for something more than the traditional case book method, but what?  More technology in the classroom, to be sure, but should schools all have blogs, facebook pages, twitter, and the like.  How do we address the collaborative nature of this generation while making sure they have the foundation of principles needed to practice?

Asked on by ericgyoung

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ericgyoung | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

I think law school should involve mandatory pro bono work, so that, in the course of learning about paper law and even trial law, prospective attorneys have some kind of formal connection to the general public they are going to work with.

I also think it's important that those who are going to argue the interpretation and application of our laws participate in public service for those who cannot afford what are often exorbitant legal fees.

 I happen to agree with you, with the added proviso that true "mentorships" or "internships" in law are lacking.  It is my personal opinion that large law firms ought to be required to significantly implement the pro bono work that you are describing.  The top 100 or 200 law firms in the U.S. lag far behind the small firm or solo practitioners - as a group - in the provision of legal services for traditionally dis-enfranchised groups.  Typically, large law firms take on pro bono work that is attractive as a marketing tool for their paying clients or as a means of attracting higher calibre attorneys.

There is nothing per se wrong with that large firm approach to pro bono work; indeed, many goods works are performed as a by-product of that approach. However, lawyers are more than just business or marketing people.  It has long been my opinion that we are, or should consider ourselves to be, community educators.  Is it not our job to help educate the populace about what their legal rights and obligations are? Of course it is.  What segments of the populace are generally most in need of this precious information?  The traditionally dis-enfranchised or under-represented.  Why?  Because they lack financial access to those "in the know" - us.  Thanks for your response.  It is greatly appreciated.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I think law school should involve mandatory pro bono work, so that, in the course of learning about paper law and even trial law, prospective attorneys have some kind of formal connection to the general public they are going to work with.

I also think it's important that those who are going to argue the interpretation and application of our laws participate in public service for those who cannot afford what are often exorbitant legal fees.

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