The Future of the American Law School or, How the 'Crits' Led Brian Tamanaha Astray and His Failing Law Schools Fails
32 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2013 Last revised: 8 May 2013
Date Written: January 27, 2013
Debate over the impact of the economic crisis on the future of the American law school has reached an exceptional level of intensity. Brian Tamanaha’s short book, Failing Law Schools, serves as the manifesto for those who believe the law school must undergo radical restructuring and cost cutting. While there is room for disagreement with almost all aspects of the reform argument no critic of Tamanaha has attempted to place his critique in the context of his pre-existing scholarly work on the rule of law. This review essay argues that only an appreciation for the dual nature of the modern rule of law allows us to explain what is happening to the American law school and to see clearly the limitations of the critics’ arguments. The essay suggests that diversity within a tenure based academic model is a valuable characteristic of the current model that must be preserved.
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