Global Challenges for Legal Education: Competing for the World's Law Students

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Flood, John
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2015
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Abstract

In all parts of the world, legal education is under critical scrutiny as never before. In the US it is facing meltdown, in the UK it is under extensive review by the regulators, and elsewhere there are sustained moves to overthrow conventional wisdom and adopt more-practice-oriented modes of legal education in the face of declining job markets in law. Yet new law schools are opening in many countries such as France, India, China, Australia, and more. We can add to this the growing transnational legal education sector, which is pushing the online and offshore agendas for legal education providers. What is causing legal education to be so enmeshed in contradiction? In this article I suggest that legal education has always occupied an uneasy position between the theoretical and the vocational. It is redolent in some ways of Twining’s personification of legal education as Pericles versus the plumber.1 While this posits the extremes, the situation is more complex and subtle than that. The pressures on legal education are both endogenous and exogenous. On the one hand the academy is trying to justify a model that it has used for a number of years - indeed since the 19th century - and is comfortable with, while on the other the economy is exerting huge pressures on legal services such that law jobs are no longer as plentiful as they were.2 Yet in many countries law is still considered an elite occupation carrying status and offering possibilities of wealth.3

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Nottingham Law Journal
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© 2015 Nottingham Trent University. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
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Legal Practice, Lawyering and the Legal Profession
Law
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