Legal education is entering a period of great uncertainty. On the one hand the burgeoning quantity of law and legislation, the disruptive influences of technology and the reality of falling student wellbeing demand a re-examination of the content and approach to legal education. On the other hand, regulators and admitting authorities are increasingly concerned with anecdotal accounts of falling levels of graduate competence in core areas of law and key skills such as statutory interpretation. This chapter examines this conundrum, highlighting the realities that must be confronted, and the limitations of simplistic regulatory structures. It argues for a collaborative approach to regulation, based on dialogue and humility. In so doing it draws on the contrasting approaches to regulation in Australia and the United States.

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Alex Steel University of New South Wales (UNSW) – Faculty of Law