January 29, 2013

BILL HENDERSON: Washington & Lee is Biggest Legal Education Story of 2013. “Here it is in a nutshell. There is empirical evidence that Washington & Lee’s experiential 3L curriculum is delivering a significantly better education to 3L students—significantly better than prior graduating classes at W&L, and significantly better than W&L’s primary competitors. Moreover, at a time when total law school applicants are on the decline, W&L’s getting more than its historical share of applicants and getting a much higher yield. When many schools are worried about revenues to survive next year and the year after, W&L is worried about creating the bandwidth needed to educate the surplus of students who enrolled in the fall of 2012, and the backlog of applicants that the school deferred to the fall of 2013.”

I should point out that much of this stuff — heavy writing emphasis, focus on practical lawyering skills, extensive clinics, etc. — is stuff that we’ve been doing at the University of Tennessee for years.