Document Type

Symposium Article

First Page



The premier strength of legal education resides in its dual identity as an academic department of a university and a professional school training future practitioners. This dual identity, which gives law school its unique blend of the intellectual and the practical, can support law graduates as the legal profession undergoes a profound restructuring. Traditional classroom education, when focused not on revealing legal doctrine but on cultivating foundational skills of analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and reasoning, will benefit law graduates even in an altered legal practice environment. Clinical education—which engages students in the multidimensional enterprise of representing clients to inculcate a wide range of generalizable skills and public service values—will need to assume a larger role in tomorrow’s legal curriculum. Because clinical learning emerges from yet transcends specific, holistic, lawyering contexts, it can enable law graduates to adapt to transformation in the legal profession of the future.