Volume 72, Number 3

June 1997

A New Vision for the Legal Profession

Harry T. Edwards

I fear that our law schools and law firms are moving in opposite directions. The schools should be training ethical practitioners and producing scholarship that judges, legislators, and practitioners can use. The firms should be ensuring that associates and partners practice law in an ethical manner. But many law schools–especially the so-called “elite” ones–have abandoned their proper place, by emphasizing abstract theory at the expense of practical scholarship and pedagogy. Many law firms have also abandoned their place, by pursuing profit above all else. My view is that if law schools continue to stray from their principal mission of professional scholarship and training, the disjunction between legal education and the legal profession will grow and society will be the worse for it.