ABA Journal

The New Normal

How would you shape the law school experience for the next generation?

By Paul Lippe

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Thanks to reader support of this discussion at the New Normal, I was asked to speak to the “Deans Workshop for ABA Approved Law Schools” on Feb. 15 in Arizona.

I’ve been asked specifically to discuss how changes in the clients’ world are creating challenges and opportunities for law schools, and to lay out how law schools can adopt more of the “clients’ playbook,” ranging from outcomes research to change management.

Law schools, which are now feeling the market pressures of change, are a potential epicenter for the emergence of the New Normal. My core argument is that law schools should engage more with the profession and clients, so I hope to aggregate your positive, solution-oriented ideas and present them to the deans.

I would imagine individual deans would be especially interested in the views of their alums, so please identify your school.

Paul Lippe

Please address any of the following, one question at a time:

1) What’s the best example of law school innovation you’ve seen?
2) Name one change you’d make to classroom instruction.
3) As a dean, would you direct more resources to scholarship or more hands-on legal training?
4) As a dean, how would you deal with U.S. News rankings?

To frame the issues, here is the piece I wrote about law schools a year ago and don’t miss the recent defense of the status quo offered by Case Western Dean Lawrence Mitchell.

I also run a professional collaboration network over at www.legalonramp.com, and as part of this online conversation, we’re working on a way to connect the conversations there and here.

My final talk will be published here, hopefully chock full of comments you make. If we’re lucky, we’ll have a great resource of ideas. I look forward to your insights.

Paul Lippe is the CEO of the Legal OnRamp, a Silicon Valley-based initiative founded in cooperation with Cisco Systems to improve legal quality and efficiency through collaboration, automation and process re-engineering.

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