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72 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1119 (1996-1997)
Conclaves on Legal Education: Catalyst for Improvement of the Profession

handle is hein.journals/tndl72 and id is 1129 raw text is: CONCLAVES ON LEGAL EDUCATION:

William R. Rakes*
Some declare that the legal profession is in a state of crisis.' It is
asserted that there are too many practicing lawyers, that they are in-
creasingly focused on marketing and economic issues rather than
public service, that professionalism and civility are waning and public
respect is at a low. Thejudiciary is confronted with issues of legislative
funding and judges are frustrated with pressures on judicial indepen-
dence and declining public respect. Both the practicing bar and the
judiciary are concerned with lawyer competence, an area where edu-
cation is central. Law schools are facing declining applications for ad-
mission and students are graduating with enormous debt. The
practicing bar is demanding that law schools provide more training to
prepare graduates to hit the ground running when they enter prac-
tice. Questions are raised about whether all law schools can be suc-
cessful in providing training to all students in skills and values and
indeed who will pay for it.2
* Managing Partner of Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, Roanoke, Virginia;
member of Council of ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar;
past president of Virginia State Bar. B.A. University of Virginia 1960; LL.B. University
of Virginia 1963.
1 The Dean of Yale Law School argues that the profession is not only in crisis but
has moved so far from the Jeffersonian model of the lawyer-statesman and is so bereft
of ideals that it finds itself in a professional cul-de-sac from which there is no way out.
(1993). A prominent practitioner strongly disagrees with Kronman and sees a far
brighter future for the legal profession. Robert MacCrate, The Lost Lawyer Regained:
The Abiding Values of the Legal Profession, 100 DicK. L. REv. 587 (1996). For an excellent
discussion of criticisms of the legal profession and an analysis of the disparate views of
Sol Linowitz, Mary Ann Glendon and Anthony Kronman, see Barry Sullivan, Profes-
sions of Law, 9 GEo.J. LEGAL ETmcs 1235 (1996).
2 See Graham C. Lilly, Law Schools Without Lawyers? Winds of Change in Legal Edu-
cation, 81 VA. L. REv. 1421, 1465 (1995) (Sound educational reform is nearly always
generated within the academy, where new initiatives can be matched with faculty com-
mitments and institutional resources.); see alsoJohn Costonis, The MacCrate Report- Of


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