Is Thinking Like a Lawyer Enough?

Every year that I attend meetings of the Law School’s Committee of Visitors I ask members of the committee how the school might improve the training that we give to our graduates. Every year until this one the lawyers who have responded to this question have given a standard answer: the young lawyers are smart, they say, smarter in many respects than their seniors, but they don’t know how to write well. This response usually leads to a discussion of the proper place of skills training in the law school curriculum; lawyers and professors engage in a little jousting over the relationship between theory and practice, and all together lament the literary deficiencies of law students, compared, presumably, to ourselves.