Dean Douglas Sylvester

As lawyers, judges and a legal community, are we pleased with law-school education? Simply put: Are law schools doing their job?

That’s a question we’ll drill into in an upcoming issue, when we publish our Q&A with ASU Law School Dean Doug Sylvester in an upcoming Arizona Attorney Magazine.

I sit down for my interview with the Dean later this week. And to get ready for it, I’d love to know: What do you think I should ask Dean Sylvester?

Are you a recent law school grad (from ASU or from anywhere else)? If so, do you believe you received a good education? And were you prepared to enter the legal job market?

Or are you a legal employer who has hired recent graduates? Were the applicants’ skills and other important traits up to the task? Have you seen those skills improve or worsen over the years?

Part of the difficulty we have answering my first question above is that we as a legal community can’t seem to decide what the primary mission of law school is. High-level conferences are held around the country about every six months, all aiming to tease out “the state of law schools.”

What do you think that role is? Purely and simply to generate graduates who can slide into associate or other first-year jobs, causing law firms as little bother (and training) as possible? Or is law school supposed to be preparation-plus? Should it involve heightened intellectual rigor befitting a Doctor of Laws sheepskin?

Let me know your suggested questions and comments by commenting below. Or, if you’d rather the Dean and the rest of the world not see what you wrote, send me an email at I would appreciate all of your thoughts. You may even see your questions get asked in print!