New York State is ... creating a homelessness court, domestic violence courts and mental health courts. Backed by the state's chief judge, and bolstered by the court system's own research, these new courts are, among other things, trying to cut down on the number of people who appear in courtrooms over and over again.This, too, is federalism. Read the article -- it's long -- to see who is critical of this and why.
Judges - who in law school may have mastered the rules of procedure or the penal code - are now meant to know about the science of addiction, the pathology of wife batterers, the bureaucracy of welfare programs....
"It's a very important new revolution" in the way courts work, said Bruce J. Winick, a former city health official who is now an academic expert on what he calls "therapeutic jurisprudence."
And while New York and California are at the forefront of this movement, there are now hundreds of such courts nationwide, from Hartford to Honolulu, addressing problems like drug abuse and drunken driving; Anchorage opened a court last year dedicated to dealing with the problems of veterans.
I'll just pick a little fight. That definition of what law school is like: "master[ing] the rules of procedure [and] the penal code." I'm afraid that's what a lot of people who avoid law school imagine it's like and a lot of people who go to law school are disappointed that it's not. We actually put far less emphasis than you'd think on learning a lot of detailed rules -- something some students might find a bit disconcerting. And some schools -- Wisconsin in particular -- make the interplay between law and society the center of legal education.