Tag: Carneige

The public library

Whitechurch Library, from the Library Council websiteI love libraries – from the wonder that is the New York Public Library through the workaday necessity of my university’s very fine library to the welcome of the local lending library – so the following story in the Irish Times caught my eye:

At the library

Few State services provide greater customer satisfaction than the public library. Some 14 million people visited one last year, a rise of one-sixth in five years, according to a national survey of users [Report | Summary | Press Release (all pdfs)] commissioned by the Library Council. …

Ireland has a long tradition of support for public libraries. Legislative backing began with the Public Libraries Act in 1855. In the early 20th century, American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie provided finance for local authorities to build 80 libraries. In 1947, the government adopted the principle of state aid for public libraries [in the Public Libraries Act, 1947]. In the past decade government and local authorities have made a substantial financial investment to improve facilities. …

According to the press release (pdf):

Introducing the survey results, Norma McDermott, Director of the Library Council, paid tribute to library staff whose helpfulness scored a remarkable 97% satisfaction rate among library users. ‘Library managers and staff should be very proud of the service they provide’, remarked Mrs McDermott: ‘library staff are committed to giving excellent service to the public and their work is clearly appreciated by library users who have given them a huge vote of confidence’.

Well, this is certainly one library user who is happy to endorse that vote of confidence.

Reforming Legal Education, or not

Aula Maxima, UCC, via their siteSurprisingly, according to WordPress Blog Stats, the most popular page on this blog yesterday was The Future of Irish Legal Education, about the second annual Legal Education Symposium hosted by UCC‘s Faculty of Law and sponsored by Dillon Eustace Solicitors. Now, either this blog really does have a serious reader or two, or I need another stats package. Even if the latter is more likely, just in case the former is true, here are two more developments (heading, inevitably, in opposite directions) for the Legal Education junkie(s) out there.

First, Stephen Griffin of Tulane, writing on Balkinization under the heading The Carnegie Report: Can Legal Education Be Reformed? discussed subjecting the Carneige Foundation‘s report on Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (which I have discussed here and here on this blog – the second post discusses the recent Future of Legal Education Conference | excellent blog analysis here | papers here) to detailed analysis and finding it wanting. (more…)

The Goals of a Law School Education

AALS annual conference image, via the AALS site.There has been much debate of late over on Law School Innovation arising out of the American Association of Law Schools‘ recent annual conference on the theme of Reassessing our Role as Scholars and Educators in Light of Change. The LSI debate has been focussed in particular on the Plenary Session on Rethinking Legal Education for the 21st Century (see eg, here (including mp3 of the session) and here), which covered similar issues to those raised in my recent post Legal Education, again. To take one example, there was an interesting discussion of the Carneige Foundation‘s report on Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (which I have discussed on this blog). Again Douglas Berman has proposed a hierarchy of goals for law school instruction and serving students:

Law school instruction and serving students should be focused on…

5. helping students pass the bar

4. helping students get better grades

3. helping students learn doctrines and skills needed to be competent lawyers

2. helping students develop insights and abilities needed to be outstanding lawyers

1. helping students enhance talents and options needed to be flourishing professionals.

I’m not convinced that this list would apply without modification in a non-US law school. In the US, students do an undergraduate degree (in arts or science), then study law in graduate school, and finally take a summer crammer course to sit the bar exam(s) of the state(s) in which they wish to practice. In that schedule, many of the broad benefits of a university education can and will be supplied by the initial undergraduate degree, and it is right that a law school should focus on the less intangible and more instrumental goals of helping students to become lawyers. On the other hand, outside the US, students typically study law as an undergraduate subject, and then go to do a further, professional, course to qualify for practice. In this schedule, the university law school must not lose sight of the fact that their degrees will be their students’ source for the general if more intangible benefits of a third level education, and that many of the instrumental goals of legal education will – or at least ought to be – provided in the subsequent professional course. This is not to say that there is no room for practical matters in a university law school (or, for that matter, pace Bruce Boyden on Concurring Opinions, for academic matters on a professional course); I have argued in a recent post that the university needs to have room for both approaches. My point is merely that I would be slow to subscribe to a hierarchy like Douglas’s which seems to me to be too focussed on the instrumental benefits of Law School and insufficiently directed to the general educational benefits of university education. Of course, this in turn raises the question of what a similar heirachy in a non-US – or at least, Irish – law school might look like. I will think on this and return to the issue at a later date, but I leave it now as an exercise for you, gentle reader(s), likewise to think, and perhaps to make suggestions in the comments below.

The Future of Legal Education

Carnegie Foundation on Education LawyersHot on the heels of the Legal Education Symposium blogged about yesterday comes news of an international Conference on the Future of Legal Education on 20-23 February 2008 in Georgia State University College of Law. Against the background of the Carneige Foundation‘s report on Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (which I have already discussed on this blog), this conference will ask two related questions:

First, if one were charged with starting a new law school, how would one implement the Carnegie recommendations? …

Second, how would an existing law school transform itself into the kind of law school envisioned by the Carnegie Report?

I have already blogged about the first question, and both will be discussed by a wide selection of exciting speakers, including Martin Böhmer (Founding Dean, Universidad de San Andres School of Law; CV (.doc)), Gary Davis (Flinders), Jeff Giddings (Griffith), Richard Johnstone (Griffith), Patrick Longan (Mercer), Sally Kift (QUT), Paul Maharg (Strathclyde) (author of the superb Transforming Legal Education), Lawrence C. Marshall (Stanford), David McQuoid-Mason (KwaZulu-Natal), N.R. Madhava Menon (National Law School of India), James E. Moliterno (William & Mary), M.R.K. Prasad (Salgaocar, India), Suellyn Scarnecchia (New Mexico), William Sullivan (Carnegie Foundation; lead author of Educating Lawyers) and David Weisbrot (ALRC, formerly Sydney).

More information is available from Clark D Cunningham (Georgia).

Sure to feature in the discussions is the just-available book Law School Leadership Strategies: Top Deans on Benchmarking Success, Incorporating Feedback from Faculty and Students, and Building the Endowment (Aspatore Books, 2007) (hat tips: Law Librarian Blog | TaxProf Blog). The title, nearly as long as the book, provides a good idea of its coverage; nevertheless, expanding on this, the publishers’ blurb explains:

Law School Leadership Strategies is a smart and intriguing volume that outlines the role of today’s educational leaders and discusses the current state and future shape of law school management. Featuring deans representing some of the most highly recognized legal education programs, this book provides a broad, yet comprehensive overview of the ins and outs of the industry and the strategic thinking behind operating a law school. Discussing the ever-changing role and responsibilities of the dean and the importance of building a successful administration team, authors provide valuable insights into the business and offer indispensable advice for success. Identifying the need to strike a balance between a center for intellectual growth and a profitable institution, as well as the process of distinguishing their institution in the marketplace and measuring success, these leaders offer strategies for leading a center of legal education into the twenty-first century. From developing fundraising campaigns and generating revenue to utilizing technology and meeting students’ needs, these authorities articulate the finer points around the business now, and what will hold true into the future. The different niches represented and the breadth of perspectives presented enable readers to get inside some of the great minds of today, as experts explore in detail what it takes to build and sustain the organizations that educate the future’s great legal authorities.

Contributors include Claudio Grossman (American University), Donald J. Polden (Santa Clara), Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker (McGeorge), Glen Weissenberger (De Paul), James L. Huffman (Lewis & Clark), W. H. Knight Jr. (University of Washington), John Costonis (LSU), Maureen A. O’Rourke (Boston University), Rebecca Hanner White (Georgia), Robert H. Jerry II (UF Levin), Samuel Marion Davis (Mississippi), Rex R. Perschbacher (UC Davis), Nancy B. Rapoport (Houston), Edward Rubin (Vanderbilt), and Kellye Y. Testy (Seattle).

Law in the Real World

'Law in the Real World' cover via UCL websiteHot on the heels of the Carneige Foundation‘s report on Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (which I have already discussed on this blog) comes Law in the Real World: Improving our Understanding of How Law Works (pdf) by Prof Dame Hazel Genn of UCL. It was launched in London at the British Academy on 6 November 2006 last (and welcomed here and here) – sorry I’ve only come upon it now. It makes for important, if uncomfortable, reading: its importance is self-evident, but it is discomfiting because of how little of this type of research is being undertaken in Ireland in the kind of systematic manner advocted in this report. (more…)

What Carnegie might still teach us?

Carnegie Foundation on Education LawyersI like the Carnegie Foundation, not least for its founder‘s support of Irish and Scottish libraries, one of which was my local library when I was growing up (and it features in the lovingly written and beautifully produced Brendan Grimes Irish Carnegie Libraries. A Catalogue and Architectural History (Irish Academic Press, Dublin, 1998), though its court wing is no longer up to the mark). However, there is much more to the Carnegie Foundation than that. As the homepage of its website puts it:

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center with a primary mission “to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold, and dignify the profession of the teacher and the cause of higher education.

One of its classic publications it its 1921 Bulletin Training for the Public Profession of the Law by Alfred Z. Reed. Now comes a wholly new report on Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law, the fruits of a two-year study of legal education in modern American and Canadian law schools (more…)