Leibowitz Enjoins Law Schools To Encourage Criminal Practice
Law schools should encourage their students to enter the field of criminal law and should include training emphasizing "life in the courtroom" as a part of their curricula, Judge Samuel S. Leibowitz contended at a meeting of the Law Students Bar Association last night.
Himself a former criminal lawyer, Leibowitz declared "there is no more soul-satisfying branch of the law than criminal law." He scored law faculties for encouraging "students to make esoteric dissertations on human liberty" yet still discouraging them from entering the criminal practice.
Leibowitz did not criticize the Law School specifically but maintained that all American law colleges are guilty in this. He stated that law students are not being taught how to look for facts in a case, but are learning "life in an office or life in the library."
In discussing the tricks of cross-examination, Leibowitz urged that law schools form departments of forensic psychology to train students in this art. He maintained that law students should "cram in" courses in public speaking unless they wanted to spend their lives not in trial law but "in an office with 20 names on the door."
The speaker called criminal law the most "thrilling" of all trial law. It is also, he asserted, the poorest paid, the most generally scorned, and the most emotionally taxing.
Even Bar Associations, Leibowitz said, regard criminal lawyers "as a professor of medicine would an abortionist."