I recently took a stroll in the Langdell basement for some quiet and cool. Casually browsing the shelves, I was excited to discover South Australian Industrial Reports, New Zealand statutes, and English Reports from the seventeenth century to present.
I was even more excited to find a collection of books on the philosophy of law, which included books discussing legal education theory. I was so intrigued by one book, I shamelessly sat at a basement desk for nearly two hours to read The End of Lawyers: Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services by Richard Susskind.
Published in 2008, the book explains how technology will likely erode the need for many traditional legal services. This seemed prescient, given the current downward pressure on law firms to create efficiencies by adopting Knowledge Management systems or by having less expensive personnel complete routinized tasks.
Reading about the end of unjustified high billable hours was almost relaxing in the calm atmosphere of the basement. If I were a law student, the Langdell basement is where I would study.
Of course, if you are not inspired to visit the basement (or even the library), you are invited to browse parts of books through use of Scan & Deliver.