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The Goals and Missions of Law Schools

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W. Scott Van Alstyne, Jr., Joseph R. Julin and Larry D. Barnett

This provocative study explores the reasons for the public perception of «too many lawyers» and the failure of current legal education to meet present needs for competent legal services at an affordable cost. The principal reason for that failure, the authors argue, lies in the unquestioning acceptance of a Prestige Model created almost a century ago. The success of that model, largely unaltered to this day, has acted as a constraint on curriculum modification geared to the realities of today's society. The explosions of knowledge, population and government regulation in recent decades require recognition of the need for substantial curriculum reform. Such reform also requires recognition of differing goals and missions among the law schools. Imaginative suggestions to resolve these critical matters are made in the final portion of the study.
Contents: This book traces the present structure of American legal education, weighs that structure against the various needs of the public for legal services, and suggests curriculum reforms to make the structure compatible with the needs.