Thursday, June 18, 2009

Has Harvard Law Gone Soft?

MSNBC's Carlos Watson asked Legal Help Live for our take on the matter and a response to The Stimulist article "The Pamper Chase."

Here’s what LHL’s Stephen Jamieson had to say:

There is something both endearing and beneficial to the development of young lawyers in the Socratic system of teaching.

To the extent that Harvard is moving away from that intense, on the spot, staccato method of learning by questioning, rather than lecturing, the legal system will suffer.

Harvard was and is expected to be the gold standard for training our legal scholars, litigators, trial attorneys, and counselors. The phrase was always law school will train you to “think like a lawyer”. Passive listening to lectures, with no competition to slice and dice what issue is being addressed, does not produce the best ability to analyze problems and “think like a lawyer”.

Coddling students by settling into a non competitive atmosphere is not beneficial to engineers, historians, scientists, and is certainly not beneficial for lawyers. Lawyers must think on their feet and be able to analyze issues and arguments from all sides. Testing those skills, learning the ability to analyze in the face of adversity, sharpens our ability to serve our clients.

Faculty that is responsive to students, and a physically comfortable atmosphere to enable the process of educating students to be lawyers: yes. Non competitive atmosphere with no way to compare one’s performance against others: no

Legal Help Live wants to know, what do you think? Post a comment below or find us on Twitter , Facebook , or YouTube .


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