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Both legal practice and legal education are industries, and they change over time as other industries change. In the last twenty-five years, there has been a tremendous increase in sophistication and specialization in both legal practice and legal education. We have every reason to believe that this trend will continue into the future.
The increase in sophistication and specialization, however, has led to an increasing distance between legal practice and legal education. Legal practice has become specialized and sophisticated in legal analysis and its application to the legal system. Legal education, in contrast, has become specialized and sophisticated in the application of the social sciences and social theory to criticize legal analysis and the legal system.
There is a tremendous difference between legal practice dominated by traditional legal scholarship and legal education dominated by the social and behavioral sciences and by social theory. It is not the difference between practice and theory itself. Traditional understanding in the law or in any other field derives from theories. Those lawyers now regarded as traditional were theorists. Holmes was a theorist. Williston was a theorist. Frances Bohlen was a theorist. Corbin, the anti-theorist, was a theorist: his theory emphasized the need for judicial sensitivity to the details of difficult problems.
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