Derek Slater, a “public-policy guy” at Google, is circulating a proposal to do away with the current model of law school and replace it with apprenticeships and legal clinics. It gets attention because it comes from Google, not because it’s new. In fact, it’s still legal in a few states to become a lawyer without going to law school. You just need to serve as an apprentice.But then Google reinvents many things that were quite nice before it came along.
A deeper question is why so few take advantage of this mechanism left over from the early days of “Bartleby the Scrivner”? People in NY have had this opportunity for years, yet they continue to fret over the LSAT and pay some bar review class to teach them what they didn’t learn in law school. I’m not sure it’s rational because when I think about it and read Slater’s piece, I think an apprentice is so much better.
It may be that college is like a trip to the spa, a sort of massage therapist for the mind and the ego. Everything is about Me and what Me needs. As Daniel de Vise said of the failure of 3 year undergraduate degrees, “Why rush the best four years of your life.?”
But maybe Google is already trashing law school by making it so easy for people to look up legit information online and find boilerplate documents. Once again, the robots are coming for our jobs.