Paul L. Caron

Monday, April 7, 2008

Erwin Chemerinsky: A Law School for the 21st Century

Last fall, Bill Henderson and I collected advice for founding UC-Irvine Dean Erwin Chemerinsky from forty legal education luminaries.  Erwin yesterday outlined his vision for A Law School for the 21st Century:

My vision for a law school of the 21st century, and for our new law school in particular, has two key components: experiential learning and interdisciplinary learning. I also want to make sure that there are more opportunities for students to have smaller classes, especially in the first year ...

Law schools also must do a better job of dealing with science and technology. The practice of law deals with these issues constantly, but law schools do not do nearly enough to prepare students to deal with legal matters involving science and technology. ...Erwin

Finally, the law school of the 21st century must do a far better job of encouraging students to use their training to help the unrepresented and advance social justice. All too often, law students have heard about the need to serve the public interest on two occasions: in the dean’s opening welcome to first year students and the graduation speaker’s commencement address. Using law to help people and society is neither liberal nor conservative.

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