Stanford Law School’s Rule of Law Program is partnering with the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) to develop a pilot legal education project, the Iraq Legal Education Initiative (ILEI)—increasing to five the number of student-run projects in the program. Working collaboratively, the partners designed a program in which Stanford [...]
Articles in ‘Future of Law’
The story of Garcia, Hernández, Sawhney & Bermudez, LLP can be told, at least preliminarily, through statistics. All of the California firm’s eight partners are people of color and nearly three-quarters of those partners are women. Home to 15 attorneys in three offices, Garcia, Hernández is one of the state’s [...]
The very best lawyers are problem-solvers. True, they have specialized knowledge—they may know the securities laws, for instance—and specialized skills—they may know how to cross-examine an expert witness. But truly able lawyers can take a problem, see its distinct elements, and identify and analyze possible solutions.
Stanford Law’s new Law and Policy Lab, our cover feature in this issue, recognizes that lawyers solve problems outside of courtrooms and boardrooms. Our graduates have always been influential in policy—its formulation, its implementation, and its execution. And our current students increasingly see that their careers will involve policy. The Law and Policy Lab helps prepare our students for that future.
Practicums are at the heart of this initiative. In each practicum, a faculty member works with a small group of students to help solve a real-world problem, usually at the request of a client. The clients and their problems come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, the U.S. Copyright Office asks how the recording of copyrights can be more efficient. Paul Goldstein and a group of students work to answer the question. Or the California Law Review Commission asks how to modernize California law regarding law enforcement access to the records of cell phone providers, social media companies, and Internet service providers. Bob Weisberg and a group of students work to answer those questions.
Students today put a lot more thought into choosing a law school than they did in the past. And they have access to vastly more information with which to do so. In addition to a surfeit of books offering advice on the best law schools, not to mention U.S. News, they can (and do) turn to blogs and list serves and chat groups to gather information and exchange stories and opinions. On top of this, most schools invite admitted applicants to spend a day or two on campus, where they can learn still more about the school and meet current students and faculty.
I really enjoy these weekends. I love meeting prospective students, each more amazing than the last. I like explaining what we do at Stanford Law and why. I especially enjoy conversations in which someone challenges me to explain why he or she should choose Stanford over some other law school. But this year was different in one respect. A number of admitted students were still undecided about attending law school at all, still looking to be persuaded that a law degree is worth the time and money—still unsure, in the lingo of the moment, that law is a good “value proposition.”
Prospective law students do not have these concerns because of the economy. Hard economic times usually make law school more attractive, as young people sensibly invest in their education while waiting for things to [...]