Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (2007) The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching William M. Sullivan, Anne Colby, Judith Welch Wegner, Lloyd Bond & Lee S. Shulman.

Author:Caines, Vaughan
Position:Book review
 
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Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (2007) The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching William M. Sullivan, Anne Colby, Judith Welch Wegner, Lloyd Bond & Lee S. Shulman

Jossey Bass, 240 pp.

Educating Lawyers is a probative analysis of American law schools: their curricula, teaching styles, and culture. This book attempts to demystify the aura surrounding legal education by dissecting its prevailing culture by critically detailing its socialization aspects, teaching pedagogies, and assessment measures. It focuses on "the dramatic way that law schools are able to develop legal understanding and form personal identity [and] common ways that law schools use to accomplish ... specialized knowledge and professional identity" (p. 3). Well structured with an introduction, four chapters, and a conclusion, this book has relevance for research administrators and managers, many of whom are lawyers.

For those individuals who are lawyers, the text provides a critical summary and reflection of the traditional and evolving design of law education and implications for the practice of law. This book is useful for non-lawyers as well, however, who are employed in the research administration field. It provides them with a means by which they are able to understand and appreciate the complexity of a legal education and the preparation that is required of lawyers in regards to the leadership role they may assume when engaged in research administration or any other field.

There is a further and deeper point of interest, however, in regards to the development of the professions as they are referred to in the book. There is a need to understand the processes and expectations of cultures and societies related to these professions but also to the people engaged in them. At a time when human character is acknowledged as impacting on the meaning and substance of one's professional and public life, this text challenges us to think about the interplay between the person and the position. Research administration, like lawyering, is not just something that one performs but it is also is related to who we are. This relationship is at the heart of the text and highlights the important role it plays in regards to the practice of effective leadership in research.

The book's introduction chronicles the shaping of the American law school by examining the models that were initially used and the ever-changing outcomes that have resulted. Law schools are viewed as hybrid institutions, functioning as descendents that carry on the mandate of public responsibility and...

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