In an article for The New York Law Journal, ETL Advisory Committee Member Luke Bierman advocates for experimentation and innovation in law school curriculum. Bierman argues that law schools must rethink their curriculum and missions to combat the perceived gap between modern legal education and practice, which has only been heightened by the employment challenges recent law school graduates have been facing. Furthermore, the American Bar Association must not hinder efforts to address this problem with accrediting standards that restrict constructive change.
Referencing Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who compared states to laboratories of experimentation, Bierman similarly suggests law schools should become laboratories of experimentation and that if the “legal education system is to adapt and improve, we must test our own boundaries.” Such experimentation will lead to law schools “differentiated in their approaches to best serve the educational needs of their students, and the professional needs of our society generally and legal practitioners specifically.”
Bierman is the Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Distinguished Professor of Practice of Law at Northeastern University School of Law, an Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium school.