Many commentators have described, and lamented, the gap between the legal academy and the practice of law. This article takes a more hopeful approach. The American Bar Association, the accrediting body for law schools, appears to have been nudging law schools toward offering, and even requiring, more and more practical legal education to teach law students how to perform the tasks they will need in order to practice in a competent manner. The article examines the 2001 amendment to the ABA Standards for Accreditation, which required, for the first time, an "additional rigorous writing experience after the first year, " to see if it had the intended impact. The research presented herein concludes that the amendment had little or no effect on how law schools educate law students in practice skills and suggests that the amendment constituted a missed opportunity to move schools toward a more practical approach to legal education. However, the article proposes that the 2005 amendments to the Standards and their Interpretations have placed increased emphasis on the need for law schools to invest the upper-level writing requirement with additional "rigor."
Kenneth D. Chestek,
MacCrate (In)Action: The Case for Enhancing the Upper-Level Writing Requirement in Law Schools,
U. Colo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholar.law.colorado.edu/lawreview/vol78/iss1/5