You have all heard the criticisms of lawyers, which I need not rehearse to this audience. Critics range from Aristotle, Jesus, Shakespeare, and Samuel Johnson to Jimmy Carter and Derek Bok; the cast of characters goes on and on. The criticism I like best, although in a way it is the most cutting of all, is what Samuel Johnson is alleged to have said about two centuries ago: "I do not like to speak ill of any man behind his back but I do believe he is a lawyer." It is always easy to bring people together, nonlawyers at least, to talk about the sins of the legal profession, and lawyers will be glad to join in talking about the sins of legal education. The latter is our topic today, not necessarily the sins but the strengths and weaknesses as they may have developed over the past 20, 30, 50, or 100 years. It is ordinarily difficult to gather a group to talk about legal education as such. Even law faculties are not eager to talk about the premises of legal education and whether we are succeeding or failing in what we seek to do. They are always quick to talk about whether classes should begin in August or September, whether contracts should be four or five or six hours, and important matters of that character; but when you come right down to the guts of it, what it is we are all about, the reluctance becomes apparent. What is the purpose, what is the objective of legal education, and are we succeeding or failing?
Sandalow, Terrance. "Two Views of the Question: Are Law Schools Doing Their Job?" R. B. McKay, co-author. Rutgers L. Rev. 37, no. 3 (1985): 581-98.