Document Type

Article

Abstract

The legal profession is undergoing dramatic changes that will drive a reformation in legal education. Legal educators must anticipate these changes to effectively prepare students for the practice of law in the twenty-first century. In order to be proficient practitioners, these students will require an expanded set of professional skills. Although the current legal skills paradigm was articulated by the American Bar Association MacCrate Task Force in 1991, it is time to reexamine legal skills with an eye toward preparing students to practice law in the new millennium. In Section II, this article examines trends in modern society and the delivery of legal services to consumers. Section III explores the phenomenon of change in legal education. Section IV addresses the question of professional skills as described in the MacCrate Task Force Report. Section V articulates an updated list of critical skills and values, consistent with the earlier work of the MacCrate Task Force, but reflective of the larger changes that are transforming the practice of law. The article concludes with an admonition: lawyers will need this new skill set to practice competently in the twenty-first century and legal educators will need to fundamentally restructure the law school curriculum in order to prepare lawyers for the emerging practice of law.