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More Student Perspectives on the Future of Law School

04 Student Views Future of Law School

At its core, the study of law is not prone to rapid transformation – as evidenced perhaps by centuries-old case law and archaic terms of art. However, the methods with which we learn the law have changed exponentially in the past few decades alone. Classrooms full of laptops, a multitude of online resources, and students immersed in an increasingly connected world have resulted in professors modifying their approach to instruction. To me, the future of law school means not simply adapting to these changes, but embracing them as new opportunities to teach the law in a novel way.

- Graham Sanson

 

Law School is a discipline that has struck me as fairly attached to tradition.  I remember Professor Adams consoling our overwhelmed first year cohort, reminding us that law schools have been doing it this way this for a long time: “its torturous, but it works!”   I think there is some truth to that.  In my view, the future of law school will be about balancing these the rich pedagogical traditions with new and dynamic opportunities such as legal placements in the community, and opportunities for mentorship in diverse areas of the legal profession.

  – Ashley McClelland

 

The future of Law School is all about adaptation. The practice of law is changing, student needs are changing, and resources – financial, academic, and technological – are changing too. So, how will law schools respond? My fear is that these institutions will be motivated by notions of status and tradition, resisting change and leaving the burden of adaptation to fall directly on students. My hope, one encouraged by this conference and this faculty, is that decision-makers will adopt an attitude of humility, and seek to serve educators, students, and ultimately the greater community, by embracing change and leading the way.

 - Murielle Harkema

 

At the conference, I couldn’t help notice that despite the presence of several prominent members of the legal society, there was an important subset of the legal population not in attendance: the students. In my opinion, the future of law heavily rests on students setting aside their apathy and taking a more active role in shaping the legal profession. This needs to start on an individual level where we take measures to ensure we arrive at a fulfilling job that effectively utilizes and develops our skills. By being engaged in the profession, we can contribute effectively to shaping its future.

 - Sanjana Ahmed

 

Often, the discourse on the future of law school involves the abstract. That is, the institution usually takes precedence over the people. The question asked at this conference, for example, related to the law school and not the students, professors and staff. When inquiries about the future are framed in such abstract terms, it is easy to forget that real people are being affected. Thus my hope for the future of law school is a simple one: that we, as a legal community, stop framing the question in abstract and impersonal terms.

 - Manjot Parhar