By Interim Dean Douglas Sylvester
We all agree that legal education, as with all of higher education, must be constantly adapted to the changing circumstances of our society and profession. We are exceedingly proud that, more than 10 years ago, we made a massive commitment to increasing the number of practice-based curricular opportunities for our students. In just one decade we have expanded from three clinical opportunities to more than a dozen. Indeed, we at the College of Law can boast, legitimately and proudly, that our students are among the most prepared for practice of any in the country. On average, our students graduate with more than 200 hours of contact with clients. Nearly 90 percent take a clinical or externship opportunity. And no law school in the country can boast a student population more committed to pro bono work than the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. In addition to practical training, the College of Law remains strongly committed to original and provocative scholarship, and to coursework that introduces students to the principles of legal reasoning. We believe that no law school does a better job of both preparing our students for the practice of law as soon as they walk out the door and ensuring that they have the analytical and logical training necessary to make them fantastic attorneys for their entire careers, not just the first few months. I hope that all who read these discussions of law-school curriculum keep in mind that attempts to paint with such a broad brush cannot capture the individual initiatives of schools like ours, much less paint an accurate picture of the issues we do need to address. For those interested in specific rebuttals to the most recent article, feel free to read the following:
There are many others so as you find them – pro or con – feel free to e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added here.