Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Law Schools VS Law Libraries

Paul Duguid, one of the co-authors of The Social Life of Information, (see some sample chapters at, has gone on to think about these issues in the context of law schools. He points out that while law libraries have changed swiftly to respond to the huge changes in information technology, the law schools themselves have changed hardly at all.

Law schools are beginning to change, but very slowly. Most law school curricula is very much the same as in the days of Christopher Columbus Langdell, with the addition of niche topics and seminars, and laptop hookups. But the professors of my youth could pretty much dust off their notes and step right into the classrooms today and feel right at home. The law librarians of my youth have had to run very fast to keep up with the changes!

I am frustrated with the inability of law faculty and law schools generally, to come to grips with a changing reality. We must restructure the curriculum to do more teaching of analytical skills. Teaching in a way the sticks, and that keeps it realistic. Instead, we seem to be mired in petty turf battles over how many hours who has for their personal course. The law school faculty and deans are fiddling while the profession and students are watching Rome burn!

No comments: