Washington Law Review


David S. Stern


It has been said that man's concepts of right and wrong and of justice are realized through his legal system; or to put it another way, that the law reflects the value judgments of the society in which it operates. More often than not, two societies will reflect two quite different images. The same can be said for legal education, another of the many mirrors in which societies can see themselves. To attempt to impose the forms and standards of one on another can obviously lead only to distortion. Unfortunately, this fact is apparently not so obvious to United States educators who continue to point "superior" fingers at the Latin American law schools. They are, according to these gentlemen, "not up to standard." Specifically, they mean that (1) there are no admission standards, or tuition; (2) there is too much memorizing of codes, not enough training of the mind for analysis or an ability to think independently; (3) the students have too much power inside the universities, and are too involved in politics outside the universities; (4) both faculty and students are part-time; (5) facilities are inadequate —no libraries, no study rooms, et cetera; and (6) there is no "academic community" with which the student can identify.

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