Justice Scalia on Law Schools

The two stories I’ve read about Justice Scalia’s recent commencement address at William & Mary made me laugh.  He offered a few comments on law schools and their curriculum, including this quote from the Wall Street Journal:

It is something of an open secret now that the second and third years of school offer a student the chance to study whatever strikes his or her fancy—so long as there is a professor who has the same fancy… In more than a few law schools, including some of the most prestigious (the University of Chicago, for example), it is possible to graduate without ever having studied the First Amendment.

The follow-up appears in Business Insider:

“Can someone really call himself an American lawyer who has that gap in his compendious knowledge of the law?” he said. “And can a society that depends so much upon lawyers for shaping public perceptions and preserving American traditions regarding the freedom of speech and religion, afford so ignorant a bar?”

This is one of those shocking times when the Justice and I have agreed that law schools should place more emphasis on teaching substantive law throughout a student’s law school career. – Mark

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