‘Lawyers Crucial, But Training Changes Overdue’


Writing in U.S. News & World Report, Frank H. Wu, a lawyer and law professor, defends the legal profession but advocates changes in law school training. He writes, “The practice of law is crucial to our lives together. A diverse society flourishes only if its members respect different opinions and make mutual commitments to public discourse for resolving disputes. Democracy follows, and constantly improves upon, a set of shared principles. The complexities of our global economy require a robust legal culture that recognizes contracts, protects human rights, and is overseen by an independent judiciary.”

But he says it is time for law schools to adjust to changes in the profession. He writes, “Students have been ahead of their teachers for some time. They have long been coming to law school planning to adapt their training to myriad pursuits. They benefit from their ability to interpret a statute, even if they end up opening a restaurant. It is time for the institutions to adjust, offering new specializations, clinical opportunities, and appropriate placement services. Professors are realizing that they ought to cultivate multiple intelligences.”

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