For several years legal professions across the world have, to varying degrees, been undergoing dramatic changes as a result of a range of forces such as globalization, diversification and changes in regulation. In many jurisdictions the extent of these transformations have led to a process of professional fragmentation and generated uncertainty at institutional, organisational and individual levels about the nature and future of legal professionalism. As a result legal education is in flux in many of jurisdictions including the United States, the UK and Australia, with further effects in other Common Law and some Civil law countries. The situation in the UK exemplifies the sense of uncertainty and crisis, with a growing number of pathways into law; an increasing surplus of law graduates to graduate entry positions and most recently proposals for reform of legal education and training by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). This collection addresses both current and historical approaches showing that some problems which appear to be modern are endemic, that there are still some important prospects for change and that policy issues may be more important than the interests of lawyers and educators. This makes this volume a source of interest to lawyers, law students, academic and policy makers as well as the discerning public. This book was previously published as a special issue of the International Journal of the Legal Profession.
Table of Contents
1. "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." Reflections on the reform of legal education in the US, UK, and Australia
Richard L. Abel
2. From practical idealism to the ideology of the market: Whitehall, Westminster and higher education 1963–1983
3. Legal education, ethics and access to justice: forging warriors for justice in a neo-liberal world
4. The role of ADR in developing lawyers’ practice: lessons from Australian legal education
5. The LLB as a liberal degree? A re-assessment from an historical perspective
6. Legal education without the law – lay clients as teachers and assessors in communication skills
Wilson Chow & Michael Ng
7. The National Lawyers College of the People’s Republic of China
Avrom Sherr is Emeritus Professor and Director at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London. His research focuses on legal education, the legal profession, access to justice, ethics and conduct of professions and professional competence.
Richard Moorhead is Professor of Law and Professional Ethics and Vice Dean, at the UCL Faculty of Laws. His research focuses on the legal profession, legal services, legal ethics, professional competence and access to justice.
Hilary Sommerlad is Professor of Law and Social Justice at the School of Law, University of Leeds. Her research focuses on the legal profession, gender and diversity generally, and access to justice.
"Overall this book is an interesting read and gives a flavour of the developments within legal education, reflecting on the eternal nature of these issues and posing serious questions that need to be considered when responding to the rapidly changing environment."
Francine Ryan, Lecturer in Law, The Open University