The Commission recognizes that a gap similar to the one identified by the MacCrate Report exists in Ohio’s legal education system. Many new lawyers in Ohio, like those in most states, lack some basic practical skills that are essential to effectively providing legal services to the public. The Commission believes that the existence of this educational gap for new lawyers is not the responsibility of any one sector of the legal community. Rather, the Commission believes that the gap is a result of several forces that shape the legal profession in this state. Only a cooperative effort between the bench and the practicing and teaching bars will effectively address the actions needed to narrow the gap.
The Commission believes that Ohio’s law schools have been proactive in addressing the need for teaching practical skills. However, the Commission believes that more can be done to narrow the gap, such as increasing skills training in law school, adding performance testing on the bar examination, increasing skills training offered by CLE provisions, and establishing formal mentoring programs. Through collaborative efforts among all sectors of the legal profession, all points along the educational continuum of an Ohio lawyer can be improved. The responsibility to engage these efforts rests solely with the profession itself and are required of the profession if it is to continue its dedication to public service.
The Special Commission on the Education of Lawyers was appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to evaluate the recommendations of the Ohio Conclave and to implement them where appropriate. The Commission has done so and has made recommendations of its own. It presents these recommendations to the Court and to the Ohio State Bar Association for evaluation.