Thinking About What Lawyers Do
Chapter 5: Implications (2) – Legal research and teaching
We now turn to the implications of the law-as-engineering approach for the smallest branch of the legal profession, but one through whose hands all prospective lawyers in many countries, including England and Wales, now pass, either at a university or during their professional formation – namely academic lawyers. It is worth prefacing this chapter with an observation about legal academic life in general. Legal academics exist in two worlds, the world of the university and the world of the law. The world of the university, notwithstanding government efforts to the contrary, tends towards the self-consciously impractical, towards disdain for the merely useful and towards drawing sharp distinctions between education (what universities do) and training (what lesser institutions do). The world of the law, especially in common law countries, is the opposite – it is self-consciously practical, disdains the merely theoretical and cares less about whether lawyers have well-stocked minds than about whether they know what they are doing.
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