Students come to law school filled with passion, with morality, with a sense of justice, and we, the law school itself, spends three years doing our best to crush them under the weight of the rule of law instead of helping them to integrate their ideas and values with the law. To the extent students are looking at clinics, they are not only looking at them as a means of touching reality. They are looking at clinics as a furlough from prison. In this conference we are talking about our goal as being that of trying to teach justice. I would be ecstatic if law schools made the changes needed to stop impeding students in their own quest for justice, if we could only look at law school in terms of identifying the obstacles and removing them from the students' way. This would allow the students to proceed in their quest for justice and would allow us to direct them in the kind of cases and the kind of law they want to do. Part of this would be to help them integrate their natural feelings with the law and to stop telling them that morality is separate from rule of law. We should not tell our students that we are more concerned with rational thinking than with passion. If we do this properly, students will be able to get a long way on their own. In this piece, I have four very discrete suggestions or plans to try to help law schools move in that direction.


The Justice Mission of American Law Schools