I have tried to state, in very brief outline, my case that the law schools and the large law firms have thrived on the “Paper Chase” model and that they are not fulfilling the mission which I will, without apology, call the seminary mission. They are not teaching us about justice. Each of us is at this conference because we are concerned with the way legal education operates today and most of us believe that it can be improved. Before this is over, I hope you design a grand agenda for change and I feel privileged to help begin that agenda. If we care about the justice mission of law school, we ought to begin with law school applicants. We ought to recruit faculty members with more public service experience. We ought to establish mandatory pro bono requirements for students at all law schools. We need to revamp our ideas about student placement at law firms. Those are some ideas; there are many others you should consider. Finally, I turn, with trepidation, to the bar exam. I regard the bar exam as the most useless and conservative institution in the array of institutions which guard the gates of the profession. Perhaps the bar exam can be abolished but I doubt that it will be, and it is a useful exercise to think about how we might make it serve a constructive role. That is my analysis of where we have come from, where we are and where we ought to go, all of it largely taken from the ideas of others. We should spend more time in thinking about how this change can be brought about in legal education.
Teaching about Justice and Social Contributions,
40 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol40/iss3/10
The Justice Mission of American Law Schools