Monday, March 16, 2015

Brown: Law School Without Borders // Tax Prof Blog

TaxProf Blog: Brown: Law School Without Borders:
Following up on her op-ed in last Monday's Washington Post, Law Schools Are in a Death Spiral:  Dorothy Brown (Vice Provost and Professor of Law, Emory), Law School Without Borders, 44 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1050 (2014):
LawyersNow that the music has stopped, instead of law schools having more people than seats, we have more seats than people. Accordingly, law schools are shrinking class size to stave off any negative impact on their U.S. News rankings. But shrinking class size means shrinking revenue, so either some part of the budget must be cut, or universities will have to subsidize the deficit in perpetuity—a very unlikely occurrence.
The largest expenditure in most law school budgets is faculty salaries and benefits, so that should be the natural focus of budgetcutting.  But it will not be. While law firms can fire partners, law schools cannot fire tenured law professors easily while remaining open. ...

This Essay proceeds by describing what the best lawyers do, work backwards into the skill set required to produce such lawyers and then answers the question of what type of law school curriculum would be likely to cultivate those skills. The Essay uses a recent lawsuit as a backdrop to describe how to operationalize the approach. It then describes some of the hurdles to implementing the approach and compares the approach with other law schools that are implementing parts of the approach. The Essay concludes by acknowledging that law schools can and should do better.

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