Stratification, Expansion, and Retrenchment: International Legal Education in U.S. Law Schools

Vol. 43 No. 2


Nora V. Demleitner is the dean and Roy L. Steinheimer Jr. Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia.

Legal education in the United States has been undergoing substantial change in the last few decades. There has been an increase in experiential training—in the forms of clinical education, externships, and simulation training—and an expansion of transnationally focused teaching through courses, seminars, and hands-on opportunities. Since the economic downturn, pressure to produce the “practice-ready” lawyer—a largely undefined ideal—has continued to increase. In addition to practice-based skills such as those that enable lawyers to draft effective interrogatories and contract provisions, the profession demands that law schools teach an expanding array of professional competencies in such arenas as business development and business judgment, as well as other practice-oriented skills.

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