Law graduates of 40 years ago will recall doctrinal courses dominating their legal education. Although law students had no immediate plans to become appellate judges, they spent most of the first year reading appellate decisions on common-law subjects such as contracts and property. They probably never saw, much less drafted, a contract or a deed. They certainly never counseled a commercial client or negotiated a business deal. Most likely, the upper-class years were equally detached from actual practice. In 1972, a study of legal education reported:
Law schools teach very little of substance and offer perhaps even less “how-to-do-it” training; instead, they focus on various more general “skills,” such as legal bibliographical research, legal reasoning, and “thinking like a lawyer.”1
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