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Reflections on Values and legal education.

Reflections on Values and legal education.

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Reflections on Values and legal education.

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  1. Reflections on Values and legal education. Raymond T. Nimmer Dean and Leonard Childs Professor of Law University of Houston Law Center rnimmer@uh.edu

  2. Basics • You get what you seek or ask for • 180 law schools • About 8,000 law faculty • Many different – but a basic core: • “Thinking like lawyer” • Subsequent – learning law • Increasingly – learn law skills • Learning to be a professional • Learning to be a business person • Law as a business

  3. Basics – the visit • Fulbright Distinguished Chair three months • Lisbon – Catholica Law School • LLM students – Portugal and elsewhere • Contracts • Electronic commercial transactions • Class at Cambridge • General reaction: much to learn from • Especially the dominant values; • We shape our by self-selection and by approach in L. School

  4. Topics • Rules find/ search vs. attack/ avoid/ use • Values vs. economic consequences • Effect of high stakes litigation • Relation between academics and practice • Life style and language issues

  5. Rule search vs … • Teach in US style • Cases and challenging or questioning • Contrast: rule finding/ top down delivery • “Tell me why she was wrong” • “Tell me why case is wrong” • “Tell me how to get around this” • The last week on conditions • Was this good – what values change

  6. Values and economics • Its just money • The woman student’s comment • The wedding cake problem • The specific performance remedy • Is it just money? • Should it be? • The Cambridge class

  7. High stakes litigation • Law as viewed through risk and cost level • Class action metric – e.g., recent 9th Circuit cases re arbitration etc. • Compare – law as viewed through lower stakes lower costs • Substantive shape – write rules to allow or avoid • Procedural shape • Social welfare shaping

  8. Privacy illustration • Hypothetical – should X company disclose names of customers to Y company, with whom it works. • Modern privacy law • Conflict of perspectives • Dollar risk vs. individual “protection” • Student response

  9. Academics and practice • The interaction in Portugal and England • The split in the U.S. • How does this effect what is taught • Traditional – skills • Non-traditional – values • Traditional – ethics as separate

  10. Language and style • Life style choices • Small law firm models • Billable hours and law as a business • Law office management as a skill

  11. Conclusion • You get what you aim for and lose what you ignore • There are other methodologies for creating good lawyers