Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


"Are you really going to work in the law clinic?" For several months, I heard this question delivered with diverse intonations from the lips of colleagues and friends.

It exploded with shocked incredulity from Yves, who believes clinical work is just another avenue of escape - like pass/fail grading - from the rigor of learning the law. (Yves and other personages mentioned here are purely imaginary, and any identification with actual characters, living or dead, would be false and malicious.) It was intoned with a sigh of despond by Moe, who believes that clinics lower the student's sights from "what the law ought to be" to "how to make money out of the law that now is." It was sung in a taunting tone by Geoffrey, who thought that my "volunteering" two years earlier was a gallant gesture made without any expectation of being called on to perform. It was enclosed in hilarious chuckles by Sandy, who thinks my supervision of students' courtroom procedures - 35 years since my most recent appearance as counsel - is about as useful as Rip Van Winkle showing up to coach Lee Trevino. It was murmured hopefully by Elijah, who longs for a law school dedicated to community service. But the happiest recipient of the news was the dean, whose views of clinical education - whatever they may be - are subordinated to his eagerness to staff the operation.