For many of us, the practice of law looks much different today than it did when we first entered the profession. In today’s competitive market, practice-based skills, early development of one’s professional network, and an awareness of legal opportunities outside of the traditional practice of law are becoming increasingly more important. I am pleased to report that the School of Law has embraced the new direction of the practice of law and is responding to the market accordingly:
- Curricular Reform: Beginning in the 2014-15 academic year, a one-week intensive “Problem Solving” course will be a required part of the first year curriculum. This course will teach students to think like lawyers as they develop into counselors of law, and to do so in teams while considering the impact of non-legal factors in fashioning solutions. The course thus prepares people better for both traditional law practice and non-traditional professional practice using the special skills of a legal education. We are also implementing a number of practice-based courses and advanced subject courses for students.
- Public Health Law and Science Center (PHLSC): PHLSC works at the intersection of law, science, and technology to address important public health law issues. PHLSC recognizes that effective and timely law and regulation should work hand in hand with science and technology. There is a growing need for legally-trained professionals in health care, both in traditional law and JD-advantaged professions, and our students will be prepared to shape the future.
- Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology: The Center continues to work closely with government, business, and industry to advise and educate leaders on intellectual property and its impact on economic development. The Center is working with the Federal Judicial Center, the research and education arm of the federal judiciary, on programs to educate trial judges on the management of patent litigation. A dynamic new Director, Professor Jacqueline Lipton from the University of Houston, will join us next year to keep us advancing as a nationally-renowned center.
- Innovation Practice Center: Patrick Gaughan, an experienced business lawyer/entrepreneur, is joining our faculty as Executive Director of the new Innovation Practice Center. A multi-disciplinary initiative with Engineering, Business, and Political Science, the Center will train the region’s rising entrepreneurs through advanced business development classes and hands-on experience taking university and other local inventions from concept to successful commercialization.
Please show your support for The University of Akron School of Law and the critical role that it plays in this changing legal market by making a gift to the School of Law Dean’s Club. The Dean’s Club, Akron Law’s annual fund, supports nearly every aspect of Akron Law, including the above mentioned Centers, student scholarships, trial and moot court competition teams, the Akron Law Review, our clinical programs, faculty visibility and development, and many other aspects of Akron Law.
Your support of the Dean’s Club makes an immediate impact on the way in which we prepare students to enter the legal profession. You may give online by clicking the GIVE NOW button in the top right corner of this screen, or by mailing a check payable to "The University of Akron School of Law" to 150 University Avenue; Akron, OH 44325-2901.
Many thanks for keeping your law school strong,
Elizabeth A. Reilly (’78)
Interim Dean and C. Blake McDowell, Jr. Professor of Law