The Future of Legal Education Reading List

Last revised 2010-01-19

This is a collection of links to articles, books, blog posts and other materials that relate to how things are chaning in legal education, law practice and higher education.   To suggest other articles, email John Mayer (


  1. How A Transformative Recession Affects Law Practice and Legal Education by Professor Jame Maule, Villanova Law School

  2. The Problem of Legal Education: What's the Diagnosis? by
    Professor Gordon Smith, BYU Law School

  3. In Defense of Law Schools, by Professor J.B. Ruhl,
    Florida State University Law School

  4. Welcome to the Future: Time for Law School 4.0 by
    Paul Lippe, founder of Legal OnRamp

  5. Are Law Schools Like GM? Why Profs Should Mull End of ‘Salad Days’ by Debra Cassens Weiss, Senior writer/online, ABA Journal staff (especially read the comments here)

  6. Yes, We CArNegie! Workshop brochure
  7. ABA is Taking a Look at Law School Accreditation by
    Elie Mystal

  8. A White Paper on the Recession, Practical Legal Education, and the New Job Market by Daniel Thies, the law student member of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar

  9. Law School 2.0: Legal Education for a Digital Age by Professor David Thomson, University of Denver Sturm College of Law (website)

  10. The End of Lawyers: Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services (book) by Richard Susskind (Amazon)

  11. With the Downturn, It’s Time to Rethink the Legal Profession (NYTimes Editorial) by Adam Cohen

  12. How Much Change Will the Recession Bring to Recruiting?
    NALP Roundtable article

  13. Teaching Skills by Teaching Naked by Gordon Smith

  14. When Computers Leave Classrooms, So Does Boredom by
    Jeffrey R. Young in Chronicle of Higher Education

  15. What Law Schools Should Teach Future Transactional Lawyers: Perspectives from Practice by Michael Woronoff of Proskauer Rose LLP; University of California, Los Angeles - School of Law

  16. Will Higher Ed Ever Change Like It Should? by Robert Zemsky
    in Chronicle of Higher Education

  17. At Public Law Schools, Tuition Jumps Sharply by Karen Sloan

  18. Welcome to the Future: Law School 4.0, Part Two by Paul Lippe

  19. The Old Solutions Have Become the New Problems by Shoshana Zuboss - Businessweek (This is an article from a (former) Harvard B-school instructor.  If you replace "business" with "law" in this article, the resulting advice is amazingly relevant, IMHO.)

  20. Law Schools Waking Up - Dumping 3rd Year Curriculum For the Practical by Susan Carter Liebel

  21. Reality's Knocking: The Recession Is Forcing Schools to Bow to Reality, by Karen Sloan

  22. A Virtual Revolution Is Brewing for Colleges by Zephry Teachout in the Washington Post

  23. The Year the Edupunks Killed the University by Stuart Shaw, Blogger
  24. Next: An Internet Revolution in Higher Education by Kevin Maney of Businessweek (and discussed on Slashdot)

  25. County library could be endangered legal resource by Francesca Jarosz in the Indianapolis Star Tribune (I have been seeing more and more articles like this.  Access to legal information is a another element of the future of legal education as it relates to how the public perceive and obtain legal information/representation)
  26. Do We Need More Law Schools? by Professor Gary Rosin of South Texas College of Law
  27. The Legal Market in 2020 by Altman Weil, Inc.(This is a fascinating look at the future of the legal services marketplace using scenario planning techniques)

  28.  Outcome Measures and Regulatory Failure in Legal Education by Bill Henderson
  29.  The “Biglaw School” Model by Elie Mystal from the Above the Law blog.
  30.   Price Wars by John Hassett from the Legal Business Development blog.   
  31.  Foundational Competencies: Innovation in Legal Education by David Van Zandt, Northwestern University School of Law


October 2009 Futures of Legal Education Conference Calls

Summary of Recent Blogosphere Commentary by Professor Jane Kaufman Winn, University of Washington School of Law

  1. Rapid contraction in big firm, high leverage model is affecting other segments of the legal services market: short term impact likely more severe than long term, but return to mid-2000s hiring levels and
    starting salaries unlikely even after recession ends
  2. Tough markets for law grad placement and for education loans may reduce applicant pools for many schools; increased  transparency to aid potential students will exacerbate crisis at weak schools
  3. Law school revenue and expenses increased in recent years; falling revenues now require reduction in expenses, but major reductions in largest expense/tenured faculty compensation difficult to achieve
  4. Major curriculum reforms could increase value of legal education to students, but accreditation requirements, ranking criteria, and resistance of tenured faculty to major changes in job descriptions
    create barriers to systemic reform
  5. Administrations face strong short-term incentives to reduce skills teaching and expand theoretical scholarship and teaching, weak short-term incentives to overhaul curriculum and staffing to improve
    learning outcomes for students
  6. More effective use of adjunct and tenured faculty through  increased training and use of more effective teaching and assessment methods and better integration of technological innovation might increase value of legal education to students, employers and public but practical strategies are scarce
  7. Acute need in both legal profession and legal education for reengineering to adapt to changes in demand for legal services; focus on reengineering could be improved quantity and quality of legal services to those underserved by profession today rather than restoring profitability of big firms