This article identifies two interconnected problems in legal education. First, legal education and practice are more disconnected than they should be, a reality which distinguishes law schools from other professional schools. The major flaw of legal education as the failure to produce more market-ready lawyers who have a mix of skills and knowledge to add value in a complex and challenging practice environment. Second, law school imposes large direct and opportunity costs on its students. These costs combine with the problem of a deficiency in academic training and post-graduation financing of additional training in the workplace to impose a growing financial strain on law students. This article discusses the challenges facing legal education after the financial crisis, which may have hastened a long-term trend toward unbundling of legal services, and a move from long-term relationships between law firms and clients toward a short-term spot market for legal talent and engagement. It argues that the problems in legal education must be put in the context of the strong market incentive to reduce costs and the effects on the legal profession and legal education.
Robert J. Rhee, On Legal Education and Reform: One View Formed from Diverse Perspectives, 70 Md. L. Rev. 310 (2011), available at http://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/facultypub/479