Friday, December 22, 2006

Pue on Historical vs Contemporary Approaches to Legal Education

Wesley Pue, Univ. of British Columbia, has posted a paper on SSRN: Educating the Total Jurist? critiquing the values informing contemporary legal education by looking to history. The paper draws upon the experience of the British diaspora. Here's the abstract:
This paper discusses a discontinuity between the ways in which legal education has historically sought to reconstruct the soul of lawyers-in-training and the contemporary conceit that legal education can be value-free. It identifies a gap between early 21st century narrowly technocratic approaches to legal professionalism - epitimized by Enron professionalism and earlier conceptions of lawyering. A desire to instill a moral sensibility in apprentice lawyers weighed heavily in an earlier generation's thinking about legal education everywhere in the common law world, giving rise to the programmes, schemes, and imaginings that provided templates for contemporary university legal training. With surprising consistency, law teachers have sought to devise pedagogical strategies aimed at constituting or remaking the entire human subject - constructing, as it were, a total jurist. They have done so in order to advance good for its own sake, but also to protect against the mere half-lawyer.