Law Library announcements, legal research updates from around the world, new and interesting research resources and web sites of interest to the faculty at the Syracuse University College of Law. Note: For easy navigation, right click on hyperlinks to open links in a new window.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"Thinking Like a Professional" - Thoughts for New Law Students

Dan Ernst at Georgetown has posted timely thoughts
on why first-year law students should strive to
think like professionals, not just learn to think like
lawyers. Noteworthy excerpts from his address to Georgetown
Law School's incoming students include:

"...[C]lassrooms have been fairly passive places for you,
where you’re job has been to write down what you’ve been
told so that you can reproduce it accurately later. If we
conducted the law school classroom that way, we’d fail
at our most important job as first-year teachers, which
is to instill in you a professional mindset, an understanding
that you’re responsible not just for what you think and
believe, but for the consequences that follow for others as
a result of your advice."

"If the law school classroom was simply a matter of readings from
the book of spells, then perhaps it would be possible to take notes
and surf the web at the same time. But if it’s about acquiring a
habit of thought, it requires your undivided attention."