Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dinosaur or phoenix?

There have been numerous stories about outsourcing in law practice (for example, here), and lately, I've been reading about outsourcing for other reasons outside law practice (see here for a serious proposal and here for Lucy Kellaway's more tongue-in-cheek one).  All of those stories have me thinking:  are most law schools destined to become dinosaurs, or will legal education become a phoenix?

If law schools continue to deny that applications are down and that law practice has changed (those changes are, in my opinion, permanent ones), and that therefore legal education has to change, they're dinosaurs, and we're just waiting for the rest of the Ice Age to come.  If, however, law schools start to innovate in ways that actually help their students develop the new skills that they're going to need (like Washington & Lee has done with its third-year curriculum), then maybe we can rise from the ashes of an outmoded system.

Personally, I think it's more fun to try to be a phoenix than to try to "wait out" the Ice Age.

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