Rethinking the Law School: Education, Research, Outreach and Governance (2014)

I read this book in 2014  – it is an amazing book about law schools and the need to rethink the education, research, outreach and governance in them.


  • “There really is no such thing as art. There are only artists.” …the opening sentences of The Story of Art, by E. H. Gombrich. (p.15).
  • “Law schools are fascinating institutions. Law being among the first four disciplines ever taught at university”. (p.18)
  • “And what makes it even more fascinating is that the overwhelming majority of the professors in the top-tier law schools in the US have never practised law, while 95 per cent of their graduates end up in legal practice.” (p.18)
  • “Goals are often best achieved without intending them.” Sir James Black (p.86)
  • “Less writing, and more reading” (and thinking?) Professor Kees Schuyt, (p. 83) (for Excellence in Higher Education)
  • “(U)niversity law schools have a duty to educate, not to train out future lawyers.” (p.115)
  • “Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” B. F. Skinner (p.129)
  • “In an academic programme, we teach students not only to look for the solution to a problem but also to seek out the problem in a solution.” (p.144)
  • After they had had lunch together and (Justice) Holmes was just leaving in his carriage, (Judge Learned) Hand suddenly ran after him and cried in a sudden burst of enthusiasm: ‘Do justice, sir, do justice!’ Holmes ordered his carriage to come to a halt and said through the window: ‘That is not my job. It’s my job to apply the law. (p.204).
  • “One man’s justice can be another man’s injustice.” (p.205)
  • “One of the principal characteristics of lawyers is that they are always found on both sides of any legal question.”C. W. Brooks. C. W. Brooks is a 16th century historian: C. W. Brooks, ‘The Common Lawyers in England, c.1558–1642’, in: W. Prest (ed.), Lawyers in Early Modern Europe and America, London: 1981. Cited in (p.210).
  • “[O]ne stroke of the pen by a legislature or a court turns whole law libraries into piles of waste paper.” Julius von Kirchmann In a famous speech, delivered in Berlin in 1847. Cited in (p.210)
  • “Legal research methodology is more than what the professor had for breakfast.” (218)
  • #DidYouKnow that the first scholarly journal ever, the Journal des Sçavans,was founded by a lawyer, Denis de Sallo, and was first published on 5 January 1665 (p.251)
  • A popular slogan in Kenya: “Why hire a lawyer if you can buy a judge?” (p.275)
  • “Universities are not extra-terrestrial entities. Rather, they are rooted in a specific city and region.” ‘Univer-City’! (p.269)
  • ‘Education makes a man a more intelligent shoemaker, if that be his occupation, but not by teaching him how to make shoes; it does so by the mental exercise it gives, and the habits it impresses.’ John Stuart Mill #Quote-d in (p.306)
  • ‘’Student’ comes from the Latin studens, which means ‘striving for’, ‘being interested in’ or indeed ‘endeavouring for’. (p.307)
  • “the students are not on the receiving end of educational instruction, rather they are at the centre of it.” Felix Maringe (p.308)
  • “one of the most important things for (supervisors) to realise is that their young researchers cannot be expected to write the book they, the supervisors, had always wanted to write.” (p.310)
  • ‘If you want to become wealthy, don’t work in a bank. It is someone else’s money.’
    Rob Hazelhoff (p.321)
  • ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better’ (Samuel Becket). (p.331)
  • “the road to the top is just as long as the road to the bottom, but the latter can be travelled faster.” (p.377)
  • “If it applies anywhere, it applies in higher education and research: standing still quickly translates into going backwards.” (p.378)
  • “The difficulty is, that changing a university is like moving a graveyard, you get no help from the people inside!” Geoffrey Boulton. (p.380)

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