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Harvard Law Prof Attempts to 'Scare the Bejesus' Out of ABA

Scared The sky is falling. So sayeth Professor David B. Wilkins of . . . excuse me . . . Harvard Law School.

According to the ABA Journal, Wilkins, director of HLS's "Program on the Legal Profession," was invited to speak to the ABA's House of Delegates, with the express intention of making them quiver, pee their pants, and possibly start stockpiling weapons and canned food.

Wilkins may well have succeeded, by opining that:

  • Lawyers no longer "control pretty much everything"; rather, "in many areas, the state actively intervenes in the way the profession operates."
  • U.S. lawyers are no longer seen as the center of the legal universe. “Even before the crash, many would argue that London had become the center of the economic world. How far east or south will it go? Shanghai, Mumbai, Sao Paulo or all of the above?”
  • China and India have established "transnational" law schools where students may be trained in U.S. law. China is seeking ABA accreditation for its school.
  • Clients are beginning to consider the quality of the work product delivered, rather than being satisfied simply because a named partner with an impressive pedigree promises that he's "on top of it." Wilkins calls this "a different kind of competition."
It sounds like an unmitigated nightmare for those who are currently under the impression that attorneys are superhuman overlords of all that they survey, impervious to any external factors as a result of the powers imbued by a law degree. At least one from a T14 school. Harvard, for example.

Posted by Eric Lipman on August 10, 2010 at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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