Fifty-seven of the leading legal educators in the United States came together to discuss reforming legal education at the University of South Carolina School of Law on November 2-4. The by-invitation-only conference, Legal Education at the Crossroads: Ideas to Action, Part I, was planned and facilitated by Professor Roy Stuckey, University of South Carolina School of Law and Professor Judith Wegner, University of North Carolina School of Law. Professor Stuckey is the primary author of Best Practices for Legal Education, and Professor Wegner is one of the authors of Educating Lawyers, a report on legal education by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Both books were published in March and criticize current practices in legal education which have not changed substantially for 130 years. The books call for significant, fundamental changes in what law schools teach and how they teach it. Participants in the Crossroads Conference discussed strategies and tactics for convincing law schools to implement the recommendations in the Carnegie and Stuckey books. The conference participants generated a large number of ideas, and they agreed to continue communicating with each other in the future. At least two more Crossroads Conferences are being planned for other parts of the country to allow a broader range of people to discuss strategies and tactics for improving legal education.