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This paper tries to identify various modes and purposes of legal education, and then to draw on historical experience to illustrate the social conditions in which each has emerged and taken hold. More particularly, I try to speculate on the conditions under which a mode of legal education I think especially attractive -- a broad liberal legal education in law as a branch of political economy, moral philosophy, social and historical study, and practical statesmanship -- has managed to flourish. My examples are mostly, though not exclusively, taken from the legal culture I know best, that of the USA. I invite readers from other legal cultures to suggest analogues or additions to these categories in their own societies; or to suggest how my account might be amplified or revised in the light of their experience.


Paper presented in the panel on “Legal Education” at SELA 2002, Law as Object and Instrument of Transformation, in Punta del Este, Uruguay.