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February 24, 2013

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Anonymous

Nice to see that law schools are continuing to offer courses that will prepare their students for the job market.

Tamara Piety

That isn't a course. It is a conference. The students organized it.

Anonymous

"The participation and enthusiasm shown by participants makes clear there is a thirst out there for more courses involving CRT topics and methodology, and perhaps critical theory generally."

Tamara Piety

Yeah, I was saying the students seemed to *want* classes they mostly weren't getting. The word "more" in that sentence referred to the classes that some of the participants had taken in the past. But this was not a course. It was a conference and it was a conference that was entirely student driven and I would say that half or more of the attendees consisted of students.

Anonymous

Yes, and I'm merely noting that the conference is here being used as evidence for the need for more "issues" courses rather than the practical courses that nearly every commentator seems to agree are needed. There seems to still be a disconnect between what academics want to teach and promote and what is really needed.

Tamara Piety

First, I am not using it as "evidence" I am reporting it. Second, if you looked at the title of the conference, or if you had been there, you would know that a good deal of the conference was devoted to precisely how the insights of CRT translate into identifying and solving actual legal controversies (which incidentally are jobs for lawyers). And there were many people who wanted to know how to do the public interest work that they came to law school wanting to do. They got "practical" advice from people doing that work on how to do it. What do you define as "practical"? is it just that which someone needs in their practice? Then surely Evidence ought only to be taken by future litigators and it is not all that practical for people doing M & A work. But then again, maybe it is. Aside from maybe needing to know a little something about Evidence to pass the bar, maybe you need to think about transactional work from the perspective of how this will look at trial. In many practices you don't get to choose who your clients are or what their problems are that need resolution. One of the things that can help you serve those clients is being able to see beyond the limits of your own perspective. It doesn't get much more practical than that. And it is true that a lot of anonymous commentators are claiming that law schools need to teach more "practical" courses. I haven't seen much evidence though, in looking around at the curricula of schools around the country, that they are primarily larded with the "impractical" in favor of the practical. The vast majority of the offerings at most law schools are torts, contracts, con law, evidence, civ pro, IP, oil & gas, family law, crim law, trusts and estates.

AnonProf

"Nice to see that law schools are continuing to offer courses that will prepare their students for the job market."

The notion that students only want courses to prepare them for the bar and practice is bunk.

The other week, student organizations asked me to debate constitutional theory against another professor. The debate was conducted in a room with a seating capacity of about 100, and the chairs were nearly full. Although I didn't count heads, I'd say there were 80 to 85 students in attendance. They asked excellent, poignant questions afterwards. Some of those attending were in my Con Law class, which met the period before, obviously this large group of students (representing about 1/5 of our student body) is not exclusively interested in practice related courses.

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