Do competent lawyers really need three years of law school? George Leef of the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy says no, and he’s been writing for years about the silly rules and traditions surrounding law school. Now it looks as if Leef’s views are being embraced by more people. Here’s a recent National Review blog post from Leef on the issue:
Walter Russell Mead notes the pressure that is building for change in law schools in this post. When even the guildmaster (that is, the American Bar Association) is talking about change, you know that matters are serious.
A couple of points regarding the post. Mead quotes one bar spokesperson who claims that “unauthorized practice is harming the public.” That’s baloney. Almost never do unauthorized practitioners undertake legal work that they really don’t know how to do. Nearly every unauthorized-practice case is brought by bar-association attack dogs, not by aggrieved consumers. “Unauthorized practice” is merely competition from people who are not part of the legal guild, but such work is no more likely to be incompetent than is work by licensed attorneys.