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Monday, February 3, 2014

Van Cleave: The Courage of Law Students

CourageRachel A. Van Cleave (Dean, Golden Gate), The Courage of Law Students:

Current students and recent graduates are exceptionally brave and optimistic. They are coming to law school because they really want a legal education. In the face of a difficult job market, a profession that is in a period of dramatic transformation, and even with the prospect of incurring significant debt, they want to study law, become lawyers, and have fulfilling careers. They are going against the grain, against the advice of commentators, some pre-law advisors, and probably friends and family. That takes a lot of courage, real courage. Amelia Earhart said, "The most difficult thing is to act, the rest is merely tenacity ... You can act to change and control your life, and the procedure, the process is its own reward." The decision to act also takes optimism. Do those of us in legal education have that kind of courage? What must we do to honor that kind of courage and optimism?

We must consider ourselves privileged to be trusted with the brave decisions of our students by discovering the most effective ways to engage, coach, mentor and teach them from before orientation, through graduation and into their careers. We can achieve this by prioritizing the following three strategies: (1) teach our students that life-long learning and continuing professional development is critical; (2) coach them in the range of skills necessary for professional success; and (3) support their cultivation of characteristics and values essential for their success and well-being.

(Hat Tip: Cynthia Fountaine.)

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/02/van-cleave-.html

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Comments

It almost goes without saying, but this is an empty sales pitch. Some pertinent facts about Golden Gate: its 50th percentile LSAT is a 151 (down from a 154 a few years earlier), its non-discounted cost is $243k and change, its entering classes shed nearly 100 people from 2010 through 2012, and only 40 of 186 members of the Class of 2012 obtained those proverbial full-time, long-term, license-required jobs within nine months of graduation. Only 63 obtained full-time, long-term jobs of any kind. Actually, I agree with the pitch: those students are indeed "exceptionally brave."

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Feb 3, 2014 11:34:12 AM

"We can achieve this by prioritizing the following three strategies: (1) teach our students that life-long learning and continuing professional development is critical; (2) coach them in the range of skills necessary for professional success; and (3) support their cultivation of characteristics and values essential for their success and well-being."

How about this list instead.

1) Take less money from them.

Posted by: JM | Feb 3, 2014 12:11:32 PM

Professorial handj*bs for pay.

And...before I get banned for "obscenity" consider which is the greater obscenity...luring students to financial destruction to (further) enrich oneself or...calling such disgusting behavior out.

Posted by: cas127 | Feb 5, 2014 3:51:31 PM