Legal Education at the Crossroads: Education and the Legal Profession

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For several years legal professions across the world have, to varying degrees, been undergoing dramatic changes as a result of a range of forces such as globalization, diversification and changes in regulation. In many jurisdictions the extent of these transformations have led to a process of professional fragmentation and generated uncertainty at institutional, organisational and individual levels about the nature and future of legal professionalism. As a result legal education is in flux in many of jurisdictions including the United States, the UK and Australia, with further effects in other Common Law and some Civil law countries. The situation in the UK exemplifies the sense of uncertainty and crisis, with a growing number of pathways into law; an increasing surplus of law graduates to graduate entry positions and most recently proposals for reform of legal education and training by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). This collection addresses both current and historical approaches showing that some problems which appear to be modern are endemic, that there are still some important prospects for change and that policy issues may be more important than the interests of lawyers and educators. This makes this volume a source of interest to lawyers, law students, academic and policy makers as well as the discerning public. This book was previously published as a special issue of the International Journal of the Legal Profession.