By June Carbone
In an article on the front page of the New York Times, David Segal writes that, surprise, surprise, law school faculties do not systematically train students for practice. The article is one of a series Segal has written about supposed law school excesses. Some describe genuinely questionable practices; this describes a complaint at least a century old. I’m sure Mr. Segal thinks of himself as a muckracker. What the article doesn’t acknowledge is that it also advances the agenda of the 1%.
Let me explain. The complaint about law school for over a century has been that they do not train students for practice. The only thing that is new today is that the most elite corporate clients are attempting to cut their legal bills by shifting the costs of the training to law schools – and ultimately therefore to the students. It is one thing to argue that the law schools of the future will need to pay more attention to practical training in order to compete with each other; this is almost certainly true. It is another thing to suggest that this is somehow a matter of consumer protection.