(I’ll trust readers to get the “shoulders” reference.)
After an early January of quite wacky weather, Northwestern Law has moved past the polar vortex — or perhaps it is more accurate to say the reverse is true. We have begun classes a couple days late, but with an undaunted amount of optimism about the spring term to come. For second-semester 3Ls, I can say that we wish you the best as you begin your final semester in law school and focus, undoubtedly, on the transition looming before you. For second-semester 1Ls, congrats on finishing your first term and best to you as you sharpen your focus on law school beyond the beginning. Last, but not least, for second-semester 2Ls, you are halfway through!!
The remarkable energy at NU Law peers out from the snow and shows itself in the vital academic work of the faculty, the extraordinary public service contributions of our students, the new and renewed modalities of experiential learning in our legal clinic, the focus on exemplary teaching throughout the law school, and great achievements of our alumni, and the often unsung contributions of our able staff.
I can certainly see the energy manifest in the hard work of all those involved in our strategic planning efforts, efforts which focus on curriculum, new academic initiatives, outreach, law school economics, and student life. We have very high hopes for these efforts and a resolute commitment to putting these great ideas into action.
A little ice and snow doesn’t get us down. We just put on an extra layer of clothes, heavier gloves, and go forth to do good things — to make big plans and also small contributions, all in the unbending, incomparable city of Chicago.
Fireworks at the AALS meeting last week. Check it out!
The Association of American Law Schools just concluded its annual meeting, and despite the less than stellar weather, the event was a big success.
As the 2014 President of the AALS, I addressed the meeting of the House of Representatives on Saturday, January 4, 2014. My remarks focused on the guiding notion of my presidency, the idea of “Legal Education at the Crossroads.” We are indeed at a crossroads, and we must consider the challenges we face as opportunities to undertake meaningful reform. Happily, this is happening. Some of the most interesting and potentially most transformative developments in legal education today are experiments—ideas that emerge from bold choices and acute imagination—often borne of necessity. These “disruptive innovations” will bring meaningful change in the long run, and I call upon my colleagues to collaborate broadly and creatively, and make good use of the great wisdom in our community.
For an unabridged copy of my remarks: 2014 AALS Presidential Address [pdf]
Last minute invitation to New Yorker alums at the AALS annual meeting or nearby:
Alum reception at 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm tonight, January 3, at the New York City Hilton (midtown), Nassau West Room, 2nd floor.
Come get out of the cold and join us for refreshments and conviviality!
and some attendant media coverage:
As I head out to the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools in NYC, I will be focusing over the next several days about the present and future of legal education. Check out this blog for some live blogging of key AALS programs. And there will be several posts about legal education and its complex predicaments over the course of this coming month.
On occasion, I will open up the comment threads for your views. I welcome your comments and contributions, but please adhere to the policy that comments be civil and attributed.