Attorneys work with clients to resolve problems. Legal education can help prepare law graduates to do that work. As an added bonus, doing so would in turn help law students understand and retain the subjects they study. Law professors who teach alternative dispute resolution, lawyering skills, clinics, and sometimes traditional doctrinal courses, have all called for greater inclusion of dispute resolution in the law school curriculum. Some have urged the introduction of specific courses to prepare contemporary law students to work as problem resolvers. This Article builds on these and other calls for reform, but urges a genuine reconceptualization of the purposes of legal work. Framing lawyers’ professional role as helping clients resolve problems—and therefore in turn, conceiving law school coursework as preparation for that role—should alter teaching, learning, and law practice in ways that inevitably improves each. We review some of the disparate voices calling for related curricular changes in legal education and conclude that much can be accomplished with reframing the purpose of law training. The article concludes with an extended series of exemplars for ways to shift current law school courses to begin from a common notion of lawyers as problem resolution partners.
Kris Franklin and F. Peter Phillips,
Pass the Salt: Problem-Resolution Lawyering Across the Twenty-first Century Law Curriculum,
23 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/drlj/vol23/iss1/1