Geoffrey Stone Discusses the Value of Legal Education

Learning to Think Like a Lawyer

There is nothing inevitable about the three-year program of legal study, any more than there is about the four-year presidency or the seven-game World Series. These are artificial constructs, but with time and experience we can decide whether they work well.

Does the three-year program of legal education work well? This depends entirely on what legal educators do with the three years. If legal educators are lazy, uninspired or indifferent to their responsibility to educate, three years is certainly too long. But if they are thoughtful, focused and creative, three years may not be long enough.

The critical question is what law schools can do to educate future lawyers that legal practice cannot do. There are several experiences legal education can offer that are invaluable for future lawyers.

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