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Law’s Futures 2019 Readings

2019 Roundtable on Law’s Futures

Thursday, September 26, 2019 (dinner) and Friday, September 27, 2019
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Chicago, Illinois


The following is a brief selection of perspectives on the past, present, and future of law schools and the legal profession.

A.  Reports and Prescriptions for Legal Education

[1] William M. Sullivan, Anne Colby, Judith Welch Wegner, Lloyd Bond, Lee S. Shulman, Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (2007) (the “Carnegie Report”)
Summary available here

[2] Legal Education and Professional Development-An Educational Continuum: Report of the Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession: Narrowing the Gap, 1992 A.B.A. Sec. on Legal Educ. & Admission to the Bar (the “MacCrate Report”)
Full text available here

[3] Herbert L. Packer & Thomas Ehrlich, New Directions in Legal Education: A Report Prepared for the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education (1972) [including copies of [4], next, and Calvin Woodard, The Limits of Legal Realism: An Historical Perspective, 54 Va. L. Rev. 689 (1968)]
Woodard is available here

[4] Training for the Public Professions of the Law, the report of the Curriculum Study Project Committee of the AALS, chaired by Paul Carrington, University of Michigan (1971)

[5] Alfred Zantzinger Reed, Training for the Public Profession of the Law (1921)
Full text available here

[6] Josef Redlich, The Common Law and the Case Method in American University Law Schools (1914)
Full text available here

B.  Critiques and Analyses of Legal Education and the Legal Profession

[1] American Bar Association Profile of the Legal Profession (2019)
Full text available here

[2] The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center, 2019 Report on the State of the Legal Market
Full text available here

[3] Frank A. Pasquale, A Rule of Persons, Not Machines: The Limits of Legal Automation, 87 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1 (2019)
Full text available here

[4] John Henry Schlegel, To Dress for Dinner: Teaching Law in a Bureaucratic Age, 66 Buff. L. Rev. 435 (2018)
Full text available here

[5] Bill Henderson, posts at Legal Evolution, (2017-2018 and continuing)

[6] The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center, 2018 Report on the State of the Legal Market
Full text available here

[7] Ian Holloway & Steven I. Friedland, The Double Life of Law Schools, 68 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 397 (2017)
Full text available here

[8] Richard Susskind, Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future (2d ed. 2017)
Available for purchase at

[9] Gillian K. Hadfield, Rules for a Flat World: Why Humans Invented Law and How to Reinvent It for a Complex Global Economy (2016)
Preview available here

[10] Brian Z. Tamanaha, Failing Law Schools (2012)
Preview available here

[11] Bernard L. Burk & David McGowan, Big But Brittle: Economic Perspectives on the Future of the Law Firm in the New Economy, 2011 Colum. Bus. L. Rev. 1
Full text available here

[12] Robert Stevens, Law School: Legal Education in America from the 1850s to the 1980s (1983)
Preview available here

[13] Alfred S. Konefsky & John Henry Schlegel, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Histories of American Law Schools, 95 Harv. L. Rev. 833 (1982)
Full text available here

[14] Karl Llewellyn, On What is Wrong With So-Called Legal Education, 35 Colum. L. Rev. 65 (1935)

C. On Demographics and Social Needs

[1] David Weisbach, Graduation Remarks to the Class of 2019
Full text here

[2] Michael Horn, Will Half Of All Colleges Really Close In The Next Decade?
Full text here

D. The Spring 2018 Prawfsblawg Symposium: “The Futures of Legal Education: A Virtual Symposium”

The framing paper: Michael J. Madison, An Invitation Regarding Law and Legal Education, and Imagining the Future (2018) Full text here

Symposium posts:

First group

Second group

Third group

Fourth group

Fifth group

Final group

E.  Summary of the 2018 Law’s Futures Roundtable

Summary prepared by Michael Madison, based on a transcript of proceedings

This list is not intended to be a comprehensive bibliography of materials addressing legal education reform, higher education reform, and/or professional services reform.  But if you know of something compelling that might be included, contact Michael Madison at madison[at]