EDUCATING LAWYERS NOW AND THEN: AN ESSAY COMPARING THE 2007 AND 1914 CARNEGIE FOUNDATION REPORTS ON LEGAL EDUCATION
James R. Maxeiner
In 1910 the Carnegie Foundation released its first study of graduate education: the "Flexner Report" on medical education. American medical education is already celebrating the centennial of this report, which changed the face of medical education by emphasizing the scientific basis of practice.
Four years later the Foundation authored its first report on legal education, the "Redlich Report," which like the Flexner Report, emphasized the scientific basis of practice. For whatever reason”perhaps because legal education was less receptive to change than was medical education, perhaps because the report's author came from one of the Central Powers with which the United States was shortly to go to war--the Redlich Report did not change the face of legal education. Today, legal education is much the same as it was in 1914.
In 2007 the Carnegie Foundation returned to legal education and issued a new report, Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Practice of Law. In analysis of American legal education, the two reports are eerily similar. But they are very different in their prescriptions for the future. The new report is "intended to foster appreciation for what legal education does at its best." Its modest prescription for the future is an increase in clinical education. The Redlich Report, on the other hand, in its import is not limited to legal education. It is a calm but ambitious call to "invigorat[e] the principle of social and economic justice in the life of the American people."
The Redlich Report is must reading for any discussion of the future of American law. It brings to American legal education a perspective that no report before or since could. It reminds contemporary legal educators of their responsibility for the legal system.
This re-issue of the Redlich Report is introduced by an essay by James R. Maxeiner that critically compares the two reports.
The book's aim is the reform of American law on a scientific basis.
Josef Redlich (1869-1936) was Charles Stebbins Fairchild Professor of Comparative Public Law at Harvard Law School and first head of the Harvard Institute of Comparative Law. He was also a member of the Austrian parliament, twice finance minister of Austria, and deputy judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice. Felix Frankfurter said of him: "Among the small company of great men who have served [Harvard Law] School, Josef Redlich will surely be included."
James R. Maxeiner is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law and Associate Director of its Center for International and Comparative Law. Besides two American law degrees from Cornell and Georgetown, he holds a Ph. D. in law from the University of Munich done under Professor Wolfgang Fikentscher while Max Rheinstein Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the Max Planck Institute for Patent, Copyright and Competition Law. Formerly he was Vice President & Associate General Counsel of Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., senior associate with two leading Manhattan law firms and attorney with the United States Department of Justice.