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Abstract

“[T]he first thing I lost in law school was the reason that I came.” This prescient quote by an unnamed law student defines, in a single sentence, our growing problem in training lawyers. From the moment he or she steps foot in a law school classroom, the future lawyer feels a strong pull to pursue a career that has nothing to do with justice. The law school experience will discourage the future lawyer from pursuing a career advocating for those in society who most need a voice. Once graduated, the young lawyer will enter a world where he or she is rewarded for billing the most hours at the highest rate, rather than for serving those with the least access to justice. As a result, most lawyers will experience a sense of purposelessness in their careers, and most low-income Americans will not have access to a lawyer when important interests are at stake.