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The basic purposes of legal education should be the major factors controlling the nature of law school curriculums. These purposes, however, can be inconsistent and they commonly lead to competition for curricular time and attention. More thought is needed on what purposes are worth pushing, how each purpose should be implemented and how conflicts among purposes should be resolved. But this whole process of evaluating and projecting purposes in legal education appears to have gone stale, despite considerable teacher discontent with what is being taught and how. An approach seems called for that will shake-up established patterns of looking at law schools, one that is uninhibited by the presence of well-rooted institutions and customs.
What follows is a set of four models outlining four very different kinds of law schools, no one of which closely resembles any institution now in being. The discussion of each model is accompanied by some of the possible rationales supportive of the type law school described. It is not here proposed that any model merits adoption or that anyone is better than the others. Nor are any of the rationales here endorsed as valid. What this presentation is intended to do is illustrate an approach that may prove helpful in rethinking the curriculum.
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