« on: July 30, 2008, 08:30:03 AM »
Wow, that's a vitriolic post. But I think it's a fairly accurate assessment.
One of my professors, who is very good and whose tests are quite orthodox, nevertheless spent considerable class time lamenting the traditional law school system and telling us what skills were really important and what to expect in practice. Nevertheless, he had a good point: Case law and fact-pattern exams are probably the best way to teach students the actual law.
I will say this, though -- law schools, from what I've gathered thus far, do a poor job of stressing the importance of gaining practical experience, building real skills such as writing and oral advocacy and learning how to be genuinely resourceful in networking and selling one's self. They want you to lean on the school for everything, and they want you to buy the myth that if you can't solve the in-class riddles and do well sitting on your butt, then you're nothing. I honestly believe that some of this amounts to a fraud racket -- they care mostly about justifying the outrageous costs, marketing the brand name, and steering business to the various book publishers and study-aid sellers.
The shame is that most professors don't really buy into that and go out of their way to emphasize what's truly important; but the administrators in charge of fostering the law school culture are unconscionable idiots. Explains why they're administrators ... no one wants them in a courtroom or teaching more than one class a semester. Which in a lot of cases is one class too many.