Take Time to Teach New Attorneys About Those Who Practice in the Field
As the school year starts, professors and attorneys may be interested in reading Frank Tuerkheimer's short two-page piece (available to Westlaw subscribers only) in 58 Journal of Legal Education 531 (2008). Tuerkheimer laments the editing out of attorneys' names in casebooks.
As a former labor law attorney, I too always look for the attorneys' names when reading a labor law case. Labor law is governed by federal law, and attorneys nationwide know each other. It is also a field filled with history in which past attorneys' strategies have shaped the development of the law. When teaching labor law last year, I looked up the attorneys' names for every case and shared what I knew about the attorneys with the class.
Yet, in other fields, such as Wills and Trusts, state law governs while the casebooks contain cases from across the country in different jurisdictions. Thus, at least to someone like myself who has not practiced in that field, it seems less important for the professor to look up the attorneys on each case and share information about them with the class. It does seem to mean, however, that the students will not then benefit from learning about the attorneys who have practiced and do practice in that field in their jurisdiction and the strategies those attorneys have successfully used.
In such fields then, for practicing attorneys, the job of teaching the new associates, clerks, interns, and externs about the attorneys and the strategies in the field becomes even more important. I hope you will all take a few extra moments here and there to fill in those students working in your office this Fall about this important information they may not be learning in class.