Friday, October 19, 2012

Legal History as Skills Training

As a law-school-based legal historian, I’ve been struck by how often proposals for reforming the law-school curriculum to account for the restructuring of the legal market involve forms of experiential learning, skills training, externships, and specialization that apparently leave little room for the history of law.  Of course, legal historians should not abandon their survey courses, and they should continue to mainstream a historical perspective into the doctrinal courses they offer.  But can legal historians, without surrendering ground already won, actively assert a place for their expertise in the coming turn toward praxis?  I’d be interested to know whether other legal historians have been thinking along these lines and would like to discuss the issue, perhaps at the ASLH meeting in St. Louis next month.  Replies to ernst [at]