May 9, 2010
I THINK SUSSKIND HAS MISREAD THE TEA LEAVES
Worse still, many legal educators will read Susskind and misjudge what legal education should look like in the future. IT costs will eat up an increasing portion of a law school's budgets, with a law school's IT capabilities always lagging behind the cutting-edge technology. The Achilles heel of legal education will be the confusing the ability to easily access legal information with the ability to actually engage in legal analysis (i.e., critical legal thinking). Anyone who has taken a hard look at education in the United States, including legal education, will note a substantial dropping off of students' ability to engage in critical thinking. Why think critically, why try to puzzle out an answer for oneself when the answer is readily available on the Internet? Have we entered the age of 'fill-in-the-blank' thinking? Down load the legal forms, your legal analysis, and the legal arguments from the Internet.
Side note: One is increasingly reading reports of people who obtain their medical information and advice over the Internet, with the harmful consequences of poor self-diagnosis and self-medication. Will we start reading of increasing numbers of the consumers of legal services who self diagnosis themselves and represent themselves? And, with what consequences. If a lawyer who represents himself or herself has a fool for a client, then what sort of client does the typical non-lawyer representing himself or herself have? Inquiring minds want to know.
Susskind, Richard, The Future of Law: Facing Challenges of Information Technology (New York & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1996).
Susskind, Richard, The End of Lawyers?: Rethinking the Nature of Legal Service (New York & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2008).
Susskind, Richard, Transforming the Law: Essays on Technology, Justice and the Legal Marketplace (New York & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2000).