For examples of what lawyers do, you only have to look at what their days consist of. They spend hours upon hours on billables, treat J. Crew suits like t-shirts, and get understandably frustrated whenever someone says that the banning of their Twitter account was a First Amendment violation. But the question of what lawyers do requires more than pointing at their efforts. A bit of abstraction and theory is in order — what end do all these billables serve? Might cultural carryovers prevent people who would be phenomenal lawyers but for not being able to afford J. Crew suits from practicing? The answers to questions of that kind need some sharp minds on the task. Thankfully, a prestigious law school in Philly has set out to do just that.
The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s Future of the Profession Initiative has launched the Future of the Profession Lab — which will focus on addressing the problems that the American legal profession faces.
The Future of the Profession Initiative, which was founded in the spring of 2020, aims to create positive change in how the legal system affects society by bringing together a network of experts, students, lawyers, and professionals from different fields…The Lab will also tackle the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal field.
Those problems are manifold and legion. From the glass ceiling blocking female deans, racial profiling at airports, judges locking kids up over bogus crimes, absolute courts with no accountability, absolute courts with no accountability, and absolute courts with no accountability, much needs to be done to bring not only equity to the profession, but legitimacy.
“Innovation in law should incorporate learning from other disciplines to improve the justice system and the legal profession,” Sandman said. “The Lab will work closely with faculty and students from the Law School and from other schools across the University.”
Let’s hope that their work involves collaboration with economists and social scientists who can stress the importance of funding preventative measures like free housing, healthcare, and education to nip the causes of poverty and crime in the bud, along with reforms targeting the preventative costs of a legal education that act as a barrier to more diversity in the legal field.
Penn Carey Law School launches Future of the Profession Lab [The DP]
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at email@example.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.