« How US News Rankings Have Obscured the Highly Regional Nature of the Legal Market | Main | Justice Scalia and the upper-level curriculum »

Friday, May 16, 2014

Justice Scalia on legal education

Justice Scalia delivered the law school commencement address at William & Mary earlier this week week and had a lot to say about two-year law schools, "carefully-structured skills-based experience," and the difference between law-as-trade and law-as-profession. Will Baude offers his thoughts. Apropos of my post last month about what every lawyer should know, Scalia specifically points to the First Amendment:

Can someone really call himself an American lawyer who has that gap in his compendious knowledge of the law? And can a society that depends so much upon lawyers for shaping public perceptions and preserving American traditions regarding the freedom of speech and religion, afford so ignorant a bar?

This all reflects a very Tocquevillian view of the law and lawyers as a learned intellectual aristoracy. And much of the resistance to proposals such as two-year law schools and all-experiential education rests on a similar view.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on May 16, 2014 at 11:22 AM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink


He does, however, make a very cogent case for decreasing faculty size and increasing faculty workload to bring down tuition costs.

Posted by: Anon | May 16, 2014 2:05:01 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.