What Can Mexican Law Schools Learn from the American Legal Realists?

Luis Alfonso Navarrete Aldaco

Abstract

This article offers (a) a basic exposition of what some members of a certain generation of legal scholars said with regards to legal education; and (b) an effort to link those ideas with a specific issue of legal education in general, and Mexican legal education in particular. With regards to these points, the idea is to go beyond the traditional approach to theory and practice, i.e., that theory is independent or even irrelevant in some cases with regards to matters of practical knowledge. Contrary to this approach, it is assumed that there is a strong relationship between theory and practice, and that they both complement each other. The purpose is to show: (a) that the ideas of the legal realists regarding training for practice during legal education is useful for general legal education; (b) that the implementation of some of these ideas in Mexican legal education would invariably help to graduate more conscious and prepared legal professionals; and (c) that the implementation of these ideas does not require much effort, only the willingness of universities and faculty to go beyond traditional, localist approaches to legal education, towards a more realistic view.

Keywords

Legal education; social sciences; legal realism; professionalism

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