In a series of publications over the last decade, Australian National University Professor Margaret Thornton has documented a disturbing change in the nature of legal education. This body of work culminates in a recently published book based on interviews with 145 legal academics in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada. In it, Thornton describes a feeling of widespread unease among legal academics that society, government, university administrators and students themselves are moving away from viewing legal education as a public good which benefits both students and society. Instead, legal education is increasingly being viewed as a purely private good, for consumption by the student in the quest for individual career enhancement. Whilst Thornton’s work thoroughly describes what she calls the ‘neoliberal turn’ in law school education, less is said about appropriate and available strategies that academics might take to reassert the public value of legal education. In this article, we focus on the teaching of critical thinking as a means by which this public value might be reasserted.