Network Looks to Improve Legal Education

The University of New Mexico School of Law has joined a consortium of 10 law schools nationwide that will look at ways to improve how law schools operate. The network, led by Stanford Law School and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, will address topics ranging from curricula to providing more practical, real-world training for law students.

Details of the project have not been worked out. The agenda will be set after the first meeting is held at Stanford Law School in December. Dean Suellyn Scarnecchia and Associate Deans Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Mike Norwood will attend that meeting.

Several reports and discussions this year have pointed out the challenges law schools face in educating and preparing students to become lawyers. "UNM School of Law will be an active participant in this debate," says Dean Scarnecchia. "We have a lot to offer, including our experience with required clinics and movement of faculty between the clinics and classroom. Our participation will also allow us to learn much from the experience of other schools. This is a great opportunity for our school."

Spearheading the project is Lawrence Marshall, associate dean for public service and clinical education at Stanford Law School. "We're hoping to create a significant catalyst for rethinking the idea of legal education for this millennium."

Other schools participating are: City University of New York School of Law, University of Dayton, School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law, Southwestern University School of Law and Vanderbilt University Law School.

New York Times Article