“We have a duty as educators to make legal education sound and responsive, regardless of the current state of the economy. We shouldn’t be misled into thinking that reforming our practices would help our jobless students; but neither, if the economy improves and some of the loudest voices for reform are softened, should we forget that this continuing duty still exists, in good times and bad.”
What? NO! Seriously, No! No! No! Or, maybe . . . No.
First, the economy may never get back to the point where it’s raining money (though wouldn’t that be nice).
Second, if the economy does improve, do you think it’s really going to happen in the next year or two? (I want a good life too, just as much as I want future law students to be happy, fulfilled, and employed…!)
Third, when the economy recovers, legal educators still have a duty to reform. By reform, I do not mean change for change sake. But, to “make legal education sound and responsive”. To improve. To prepare us to be the best lawyers we can be. To innovate. To energize. To inspire!
Thank you, Professor Fruehwald. I agree. There is no duty free zone in legal education. The costs (and not just $$$ costs though debt estimates of the class of 2016 are now at $216,406) are too high to turn a blind eye. This is a long term project. It has spanned hundreds of years. It is high time that students, reform-minded professors, clients, and other interested parties start shaping the future (and start getting everyone else to listen already).