Law Schools

Fiat Flux: Evolving Purposes and Ideals of the Great American Public Law School

01 Apr 2012 12:01pm Christopher Edley, Jr.* 

This Essay describes the changing role of American law schools throughout the twentieth century and proposes a vision for the future’s Great American Law School. Since the founding of Berkeley Law, the definition of the legal profession has progressed from an interior orientation, which focused predominately on trial courts and appellate advocacy, to an exterior orientation with wide consideration of other forms of lawyering. Along a second axis, legal pedagogy has progressed from a careerist orientation, which focused on case analysis and advocacy skills, to a more academic orientation that integrates questions of theory and methodology. Analyzing these trends, this Essay suggests that the next century’s Great American Law School will: (1) embrace a curriculum that prepares law students for careers outside the law; (2) train cross-disciplinary societal problem solvers; and (3) contribute to a new global legal culture that will help bring nations closer together generally. 

 

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