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Advice for Erwin Chemerinsky

The TaxProf Blog has been running a series of posts by legal luminaries giving advice to Erwin Chemerinsky, the first Dean of the new UC Irvine law school.

My favorites are from John Mayer. . .

The single biggest thing that students crave is more feedback. Imagine if you took a job where you were paid at the end of 15 weeks based on your performance -- better performance = more pay, but you weren’t told how well you were doing until the end of the 15 weeks. That’s law school. Students are studying hard, but they aren’t sure that they know what they know until the results of the final exam are in. . . . If instructors want to read really excellent final exams, then you have to make sure that students are on track throughout the semester. The surprises you get reading the finals are no less disconcerting than the surprises that the students get when you grade it.

. . . And from David Hoffman. . .

The Bar's accreditation standards increase the cost of legal education and reduce competition between lawyers. They make it impossible to create a true laboratory of law schools, competing for student dollars by offering the best value. Thus, the "single best idea" for reforming legal education is the one that makes all others possible: to eliminate the Bar's accreditation role. This is not to say that we don't need any kind of accreditation – we do, but it should not be one run by our guild. Instead, we should seek an accreditor that would embrace an experimental approach to legal education.

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