Improving Education-Delivery in the Twenty-First Century

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Law Library Journal


Dean Mary Kay Kane has really put her finger on what law librarians need to do to promote the law school of the future. But I will dare to venture a step further and assert that legal education is in serious trouble right now because of the disconnect between advancements in technology and the continuing, almost exclusive, attachment of law school faculties to the Langdellian tradition. My exploration of the vital role law librarians can play in addressing this problem also will lead me to touch on the nature of the tenure and promotion standards and process for law library directors in the latter part of this article. T2 Law library directors are certainly the leaders in most law schools when it comes to understanding the world of technology. They are the ones who usually are the most technologically proficient and the most aggressive in pushing for change in the use of technology. Law professors for the most part still operate under the same format for teaching in the classroom that existed in the time of Harvard Law School Dean Christopher Langdell. The Socratic method championed by Langdell still dominates the methodology for analysis and discussion of cases in a face-to-face engagement, if not confrontation, with the student. While faculty have exercised great creativity in the substance of their presentations, the format itself has not changed. Therefore, it is up to the law librarian to nudge the law professor away from this nineteenth-century tradition toward the new future that we now face.

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