Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Too Few Lawyers?, Part II.

Yesterday's post discussed a 19 year-old dispensing legal advice from a website--and apparently doing so with some skill. "How can this happen?", some legal educators might question. "He didn't sit in our classes". "He didn't attend our schools", they might say. This story brings into focus the role of law school in preparing lawyers. I am reminded of a fascinating book published a couple of years back called, Brush with the Law, by Robert Byrnes and Jaime Marquart. This book was written by two graduates of Stanford and Harvard Law Schools, respectively. They discussed how they rarely attended classes, spending their time with other pursuits such as gambling and partying. One author didn't even live in the same part of the State during his third year. The other indicated that the only class that provided any practical knowledge was his first year class in Legal Writing and Research. Lawyers might want to pretend that we have a special knowledge or ability that can only be obtained by attending law school. However, with the "democritization" of information, as evidenced by the 'net, blogs and other information sources, the secret may be out. Much (but not all) of what lawyers do can be accomplished by those with a reasonable degree of research and writing capabilities.