ABA - "We're thinking about it."

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Kizmet, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  2. sideman

    sideman Active Member

  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  4. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    The only thing you can do in law school in person that you can't do online is have a beer with your study group. With all the technology, all the changes in higher ed, it's a flat out joke that the ABA has played this game and dragged their feet so long. If Georgia Tech can award engineering degrees online and Cambridge can award masters degrees online, then you can undoubtedly have a bona fide online law school education. This isn't a degree that requires research with equipment, and law libraries now abound on the internet, e.g., Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis. The only possible rationale I can imagine is they want to make it marginally more difficult to get into law school to reduce the numbers of those graduating with law degrees because they know full well that law schools have created an untenable situation where they're now graduating about twice as many as there are jobs available in the practice of law. From that perspective, it makes sense, from the perspective of providing a quality education, it makes no sense at all and it's insulting that they'd pretend otherwise.
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I agree that law can and should be taught by distance. I am less sanguine about "on-line" in place of old-fashioned "correspondence" because the latter forces the student to read, reflect and write which is the soul of law. Now, I would prefer to see some sort of practicum requirement in addition to the academic study. But since until fairly recently few law schools even HAD a clinical requirement, I don't suppose much would be lost if D/L students didn't get any clinical exposure.

    EDIT: I should also like to add that the law school lecture system is an expensive waste of time.
  6. I think 30 is a good number. That's pretty much one year. I think the 3L year online would be great. I don't think all of law school can be done online though. I had courses like "Trial Skills" that would be near impossible to obtain the same result if done online. Personally, I think we should go back to the LLB system but that's a saga for a different day.
  7. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Totally agreed, your honor. I went to a law school that at the time was clocking in at top 10 in the country for clinical practice programs (not overall law school ratings, just the clinical practice side), and I thought it was paltry. I did a judicial clerkship one semester and a single internship with the AG's office, where other than sitting second chair a couple times and looking young and eager and uncomfortable in my suit (but basically doing nothing), there was no action at all. I knew nothing practical regarding the practice of law upon graduation, and the first firm I worked for, when a partner asked me to prepare a summons and complaint for a lawsuit he was filing, I didn't even know what he was referring to, and afraid to ask for fear of being fired, and unable to find such information on an internet that essentially didn't yet exist, I had to zip down to the law library downtown at the courthouse and ask a clerk behind the desk what a summons and complaint was. It was intensely embarrassing. She was very nice, showed me a file of summons and complaints that had been filed, and I was able to put together something passable and keep my job.
  8. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    It could probably be done by video conference, wouldn't be perfect, but is doable. Truth be told, the trial skills class I took was not particularly valuable for understanding how to conduct a trial, and most attorneys don't do much work in the courtroom anyway. When I was practicing, it was maybe a once-a-year thing. My brother in law, still in full time practice and a newly minted partner, doesn't spend much time in the courtroom, either. Results, of course, may vary, if you're in a public defender's office, I have to think you're there a lot.
  9. I think actually having people in the room watching you do an opening, cross, and etc...can't be duplicated with video conference. It's a different when you have that presence. True, most attorneys don't do trial work. A lot of it depends on the student and the school. I do a lot of trial work so my vision is a little skewed. At the end of the day I think the "OJT" is the most important. My Trial Skills class was amazing but the nearly 6 months as intern at a public defender's office gave me the best knowledge as far as trial skills.

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