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The Doctrine-Skills Divide


The Doctrine-Skills Divide

Legal Education's Self-Inflicted Wound

by Linda Edwards

Forthcoming August 2017

ISBN978-1-61163-613-0

Tags: Law School Teaching


Calls to reform legal education argue for increasing skills courses and for adding skills components to existing doctrinal courses. Doctrinal teachers naturally resist. The argument asks them to give up curricular space and syllabus time in order to advance the teaching goals of someone else’s course. But what if doctrinal and skills courses are not naturally occurring categories at all, but rather subjective groupings of our own creation? What if skills teaching is actually an inherent part of deep doctrinal learning? This book dismantles the theoretical legitimacy of the doctrine-skills divide, identifies its unnecessary negative entailments, and suggests better alternatives.  


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