Washington Law Review


A decade ago, an issue of the Association of American Law Schools' Journal of Legal Education was devoted to ruminations on selecting lawyers for the twenty-first century. Although some of the papers in the Journal issue offered congratulatory messages to legal educators and the Law School Admissions Council for their work, others more critically assessed legal education and the admissions process, warning of an impending "mid-life crisis" caused in part by an unreflective period of maturation. Focusing on two decades of "applicant explosion," affording the conscious creation of "a more intellectually elite profession,"' a number of the authors who submitted papers wondered whether law schools and law faculty had acted responsibly in exercising their monopolistic power to determine who will be able to practice law and what will be taught. The collection of Journal articles generally reflected a self-conscious recognition that not only the test-taking process of identifying who enters law school, but also who teaches and how we teach deserved deeper introspection. One commentator—a nonlawyer—posed a question ripe for contemplation at that time: "What is a good lawyer?"

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