The Disjunction Between Judge Edwards and Professor Priest

With characteristic vigor, Judge Harry Edwards, in his essay The Growing Disjunction Between Legal Education and the Legal Profession, has censured the law schools and, secondarily, the bar, for what he sees as profoundly disturbing trends pulling academics and practitioners farther and farther apart. Judge Edwards’ censure is not proffered off the cuff. He has carefully polled his former law clerks on their perceptions of their law school years and of their postclerkship professional experiences – whether in private practice, in government, or in teaching. In the text and footnotes of his essay, Judge Edwards quotes his law clerks’ responses in considerable and very interesting detail. These responses, largely if not uniformly confirmatory of Judge Edwards’ own intuitions, constitute much of his ammunition. For my part, I must confess that, although I share certain of Judge Edwards’ concerns, I do not view the American legal landscape with the same degree of alarm.