Saturday, October 14, 2006

Harvard Law to refocus the first year

Boston Globe reports:
The Harvard Law School faculty has voted unanimously to overhaul its first-year curriculum by focusing more on complex problem-solving, international law, and modern law-making by government bodies and administrative agencies, marking a significant departure from more than a century of traditional legal education. ...

``Many people's picture of a lawyer is someone in a courtroom, but the fact of the matter is very few lawyers practice inside courtrooms," said professor Martha L. Minow, who chaired the curriculum committee. ``So we are making a strong statement that legal education ought to reflect the problem-solving, prospective, constructive, legislative, comparative, and international work that is central to law today."
Andy writes:
"Very few lawyers"??? Certainly that is true for law professors, many of whom have never even passed the bar. It is also true of law graduates who do something else with their lives, and it is true of some who join large law firms where colleagues can run into court as needed. But that statement is not true of most practicing attorneys. The vast majority of attorneys are in small or solo practices, and you bet we have to run into court when a client needs it done.
Even if a lawyer does not appear in court, he needs to know what goes on in court if he is going to be able to advise anyone.

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