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Monday, February 03, 2014

Decanal Lecture on Legal Education

I am proud to announce that Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez of Northwestern will be at FIU College of Law this Wednesday, February 5, to present the First Decanal Lecture on Legal Education.

The idea behind what I hope will become an annual program is to invite a dean to the College of Law for a multi-day visit to talk to the law school community about any part of the past, present, and future of legal education. Rodriguez will do a faculty workshop on Tuesday and the lecture, entitled Innovation in legal education reform, for the FIU community on Wednesday.

Again [TV announcer voice], if you're in the Miami area on Wednesday and can make it over to the law school, the event is open to the public. I hope to post video of the lecture later this week.

Innovation in legal education reform

From Ecclesiastes 1:9, we learn that “what has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”

Not an encouraging message to those of us who are working hard to reimagine the modern law school.  But a reality check from those who would advise us that such reimagining is a fruitless endeavor.  And what counts as “new” anyway?  From the law school trenches, we celebrate innovation and creative rethinking of our educational structures and processes while wondering, in our private moments, whether we are creating truly novel modalities of education and professional training, are essentially reinventing the wheel, or are mostly scrambling to keep up with a rapidly changing profession and an educational world gone haywire.

I want to talk about innovation and legal education reform by focusing on innovation as an intriguing concept, and as an aspiration.  What do we talk about when we talk about innovation in law schools?  How are the disruptive innovations at work in the professional environment into which we are sending our students?  And what are the important connections between the answers to these two questions?

Posted by Howard Wasserman on February 3, 2014 at 09:31 AM in Article Spotlight, Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink

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