I was elected by the Stetson Law students graduating in December 2021 to give the Celebration address. Several people have asked to read it, so here it is!
As a British law professor living and working in the United States, I am regularly asked the following question:
Is legal education better in the US or the UK?
The answer is that neither is better. They are just different. But appreciating the reasons for (and ramifications of) those differences is crucial.
I keep reading and hearing advice urging speakers — whether they be presenting at small gatherings or large conferences — to tell stories.
I recently had the misfortune to attend a presentation where the speaker kept going on about his hair.
President Trump’s recent executive order, suspending travel from seven predominantly-Muslim countries, together with the ensuing administrative and political chaos, and the subsequent (albeit interim) judicial orders enjoining the enforcement of the order, have highlighted the possibility that the American legal system might very well be on the verge of significant change — and of significant challenges.
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. So runs the saying. But, like many such aphorisms, it is not so much the product of thought as a substitute for it.
In fact, we all know it isn’t true.
There are many legal terms that have different meanings in different contexts.
Consideration is an obvious example. In contract law, this word refers to money or money’s worth; in civil and criminal procedure, however, it denotes something that should be taken into account when reaching a decision.
Everyone knows that the annual US News & World Report league tables that purport to rank American law schools are deeply flawed. US News, of course, likes to keep up the pretense of statistical validity by periodically assuring us that it doesn’t just stick a pin in a sheet of paper,
There have been calls for reform of the law school curriculum ever since law schools were created. Since the Great Recession hit in the late noughties, those calls have grown to a clamor. Yet many of those calls share a feature that is quite extraordinary — and even more so because it is a feature that has been consistently overlooked or ignored.