A copy of an e-mail that Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer wrote is on Law School Innovation. In it he talks about why 1L’s seem to be the only one paying attention in law school.
From Law School Innovation:
So what is the real problem? It is not just that students are less engaged in their second and third years. That is a symptom as much as a problem. The problem is that legal education has traditionally involved teaching one skill (thinking like a lawyer), and doing so for three years. The second and third year curriculum is thus best described as “more of the same.” The fields of law are different, but what students do in their second and third year classes is mostly just what they did in their first year classes. There is, to be sure, a bit more variety: opportunities to take some seminars and write papers, and opportunities to do clinics and externships. But at most schools these are a haphazard feature rather than a systematic part of the curriculum, and the core curriculum remains focused mainly around doctrinal field surveys. Students take these other sorts of c! lasses to relieve the monotony or to have a chance to “do some good” or have some fun while earning their degree. They are not an integral part of a consciously constructed upper level curriculum, and for most students the upper two years still consist mainly of more conventional law classes, with a handful of alternatives thrown in.
So, I have two years of more of the same to look forward to. I don’t think my law school has much to offer in the form of alternative classes. I’m probably going to join law review or perhaps do the legal clinic in order to kill the monotony of my second and third years. Anybody have any suggestions which is better?