Two recent influential books on legal education, Educating Lawyers and Best Practices for Legal Education, come to similar conclusions about the problems with many legal education programs today. Many other suggestions for improvement in legal education programs are also similar. A major point made in both books is the need to train lawyers in their roles and skills as professionals. The books both contemplate a move from the current model of large classes taught through modified Socratic dialogue to a sequenced set of courses and experiences that build on basic legal analytical skill and provide opportunities for real life and simulated practice experience. Assessment would become more outcome-based with genuine opportunities for students to receive constructive feedback on their skill development as it evolves. Different law schools would implement these changes as appropriate for their particularized communities. While those changes would benefit all future lawyers (and future clients of those lawyers), the changes would be particularly welcome for students of color and members of groups which are under-represented in law school.
Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Leading Change in Legal Education: Good News for Diversity, 31 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 775 (2008).