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Leading Legal Educators Call For A Shakeup In How the Law Is Taught

Publication Date: 
December 20, 2007
The Chronicle Of Higher Education
Katherine Mangan

Professor Lawrence Marshall is quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education in a story about changes underway in legal education, and about a December 2007 meeting among representatives of ten law schools who are part of a Carnegie Foundation working group focused on curriculum reform. Professor Marshall comments on the need for interdisciplinary legal education:

...This month Stanford Law School held a gathering of deans from 10 law schools that are revamping their programs.


Lawyers, judges, and legal educators have long criticized the nation's system of training lawyers. Common themes have emerged: Law-school graduates don't have the practical skills to be effective lawyers. The second and third years of law school are repetitious. Law schools don't do enough to recognize and reward good teaching and the examination of ethics. Faculty members aren't encouraged to set educational goals for students and assess whether they've achieved them.


But changes are happening, even at the venerable schools that set the tone for legal education more than a century ago...

Stanford Law School has revamped its curriculum by introducing more interdisciplinary study and clinical experience. "For generations, law schools have said we can't afford to embrace these forms of pedagogy," said Lawrence C. Marshall, associate dean for public service and clinical education. "But they're coming around to a point where they're concluding that we can't afford not to."