Friday, January 10, 2014
Daniel B. Rodriguez (Dean, Northwestern), AALS Presidential Address: Legal Education at the Crossroads (Jan. 4, 2014):
With regard to legal education more generally, what we need now is constructive engagement with these critics and with the super wicked problems which have generated these complex critiques. We also need to forge a compelling narrative that articulates what we know to be the case and that is that legal education in the United States is healthy, imaginative, and self-reflective. Legal education trains law graduates for diverse careers in a complex civil society and contributes to the successful performance of the institutions that safeguard our society’s essential values and virtues. American legal education is the envy of the world not because we say so, but because we can point to extraordinary leaders and transformative institutions that have advanced the well-being of citizens, secured rights for the disadvantaged, and given students meaningful careers as lawyers and as ambassadors for justice. This inspiring narrative, actively communicated, is essential to our prosperity; indeed, perhaps to our very survival. As an association and a community of lawyer-educators, we have much work to do. Let’s get to work.