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Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Mike Leach, football coaching, and law school

Geoff already commented on Mike Leach's new article in Texas Tech Law Review, talking about how law school prepared him to be a football coach. Geoff noted that Leach reports as an actual in-class event a version of a scene from The Paper Chase ("Go call your mother . . ."), so I wonder about that part of the paper. I also wonder about Leach's description of the Socratic-method-on-steroids class (civ pro, teaching Pennoyer); I went to law school for 3 years and have taught for 9 and have never actually seen anything remotely approaching what he described, either as a student or in observing my colleagues.

Paul Caron offers his comments, along with a link to Leach's paper. Caron highlights Leach's direct comparisons between coaching and law school, including his suggestion of a certain rugged individualism to law school and the "certain amount of treachery and adaptation it takes to be successful" in both.

I would echo Leach's wind-up to any students: A law degree is a degree in problem-solving, so go find problems that you are passionate about and help solve them. To me, that is the goal for lawyers.


I was always into problem solving. I always enjoyed puzzles etc. I was either gonna be a lawyer or engineer. I prefer words to numbers so I went with the lawyer route.

Anonymous Orlando Attorney -- 1/26/2010 12:40 PM  

My brother went to law school. He spoke about a time in which a classmate was "stood up" in class top discuss a case. She obviously had not read carefully and struggled through the Socratic method used. At the end, the professor told her to put out both hands. He told her that in one hand she had the argument/synopsis she had just given and in the other she had a pile of @#$%. He asked her which one weighed more. She ran from the room crying.

While this may not be the norm, I think it is prevalent in a lot of places.

This was not a "Tier-1" law school, by the way.

Blogger Michael -- 2/01/2010 11:34 AM  

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