April 25, 2004

A new dimension of law school nurturing. The worst thing about that Adam Liptak article (discussed in the previous post) is that it presents Concord Law School as distinguishing itself from traditional law schools by not using the Socratic Method. Liptak writes that "many students find the method terrifying" and then quotes Concord's dean as saying that his school has a "more nurturing atmosphere" and a Concord student "welcoming" that nurturing: "They don't think we need to be yelled at, screamed at or scared."

Which of the existing non-virtual law schools are using the yelling, screaming, scary type of Socratic Method? I'd really like to know! An innovative idea for a new law school would to use an old style hardcore Socratic Method approach. It's actually hard to find Kingsfield-type lawprofs any more; everybody's already competing to be the most nurturing. I'd like to see a school compete for students and faculty by offering a retro hardcore method.

A virtual law school brings a new dimension of nurturing: it lets you stay home altogether. But the fear of the classroom that is just a fear of speaking at all in class and of being challenged with hard questions: that is a fear that needs to be overcome! Would you hire a lawyer who had not been willing to face down that fear? Attacking the nonexistent Paper Chase-type law school is beside the point.

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