By: Dr. Hem Sras, Dean for the College of Law
The College of Law held a distinguished guest lecture on “Legal Education in the United States” for its students on May 4, 2018. This lecture was given by Montes Mills , Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana. Prof. Mills presented the background and development of legal education in the US from independence until today.
In his lecture, Prof. Mills traced the extensive history of the U.S. legal system and discussed how law was once considered as science because it was apolitical, neutral, fair, and just. For nearly a century, legal training focused on these ideas. However, in the 1960s, this changed due to various social movements which made law students, law professors, and lawyer activists in society. Law no longer was science, and legal education changed from thinking like a lawyer to writing like a lawyer. Today, law schools teach students how to act and write like lawyers. They link law students to society and show them actual practice of law in society. Law schools focus on memo drafting, brief writing, case- rounds and follow-up, advocacy and litigation techniques, etc. These are taught by practicing attorneys as professors of law schools. Currently, there are 206 law schools in the United States.
Through his lecture, students and participants learned a lot about the background and development of US legal education. Students and participants also asked Prof. Mills a number of questions, and he responded to their questions informatively. The lecture and discussion went smoothly. In the end, the College of Law, on behalf of UC, gave a souvenir to Prof. Mills for spending his precious time to visit and for giving a lecture at the College of Law. Finally, the session ended in a friendly group photo.