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Up for debate

7 November 2011

I recently had the dubious pleasure of attending a debate on the future of legal education at UCL. The event was entitled ‘Do lawyers need to be scholars?’ and was loosely based around the future of legal education and the continuing Legal Education and Training Review. It was certainly an esteemed panel, but unfortunately it was predominantly a panel of experienced academics. The opportunity to engage with those who were going through the process of legal education or with those who had just completed their academic and post-graduate experience was cleverly avoided or intentionally ignored by the academic (of course) chair. Sadly, the ‘debate’ didn’t really get off the ground. It was more a series of generally well-intentioned statements, such as going back to the ‘3 Rs of law’, namely research, writing and reasoning and introducing an additional two Es: ethics and economics.

When the chair opened the debate to the audience, I hoped some of the many students an...

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