RATHER THE POISONED CHALICE: ON UNIVERSITIES AND THE MARKET

CONFERENCE REPORT:

THE FUTURE ED PROJECT: NEW BUSINESS MODELS FOR UNITED STATES AND GLOBAL LEGAL EDUCATION

Got an idea about the future of legal education? Think it’s time to go clinical? Or global? Or virtual? Should law be combined with other fields of study at the graduate or undergraduate level?

There is no shortage of commentary about the challenges facing U.S. law schools. Driven by the Carnegie Foundation’s highly critical 2007 report and the recent, dramatic downturn in large firm associate hiring, American law school deans and administrators are scrambling to predict the future and position themselves within a rapidly changing and increasingly global market. But what is the likely shape of the future market—or markets—for legal education? What are the most promising models for delivering education and training in those markets? And how do we get there from here?

New York Law School and Harvard Law School are hosting a year-long contest of ideas about the future of U.S. legal education. The goal is to come up with operational alternatives to the traditional American law school business model and to test new designs in multiple audiences of employers, practitioners, publishers, and regulators.

The kickoff event was a two-day conference at NYLS in April, 2010, which brought together some 100 deans, law faculty, lawyers, regulators, and clients to identify problems with the current model and to organize working groups around ideas and innovations.

Working groups will reconvene at Harvard Law School in October, 2011 to discuss and refine their ideas and to consider next steps. Final designs will be presented, with commentary, at New York Law School in April, 2011.

For video of the April, 2010 conference, please visit http://bit.ly/futureedwebcasts. Information about working groups is available at http://futureed.tumblr.com.





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