With another academic year upon us, I am pleased to share with you some exciting news from Akron Law. The 2012-13 academic year was a time of innovation and change, a trend that is certain to continue in the 2013-14 academic year.
Over the past several months, much has happened at Akron Law. Some of our most noteworthy initiatives are: 1) a new Public Health Law and Science Center which offers a Health Law Certificate and fills a market need for lawyers educated in health care law; 2) a new post-JD Certificate in Intellectual Property; 3) a reformed curriculum that builds upon our traditionally strong foundation in analytic skills and knowledge by increasing our focus on preparation to practice law and problem-solve upon graduation; and 4) innovative online academic and continuing education courses. With all these trend-setting initiatives, alumni support of the School of Law’s annual fund, the Dean’s Club, is more critical now than ever. We hope that one or more of these initiatives will inspire your generosity. You may give online by selecting GIVE NOW in the top right corner of this page.
Our new Public Health Law and Science Center (PHLSC) will focus on the legal issues surrounding population health, a growing policy area centered on transitioning health care from simply caring for the sick to keeping large groups of people healthy. A large part of the program will be geared toward helping students in the health law field keep up with scientific and technological advances as they relate to overall population health. This focus allows for a more holistic approach to crafting laws and policies designed to improve the human condition.
The post-JD Certificate in Intellectual Property is modeled on the current JD-level Certificate in Intellectual Property. We are also expanding our entrepreneurship and intellectual property programs to start an Innovation Practice Center, one of two interdisciplinary centers supported by the University. The Center will combine engineering, business, law, and public policy faculty and students to take discoveries through proof-of-concept to IP protection, business creation and marketing of inventions.
Important curricular reforms build upon our traditionally excellent first-year program by including an intensive problem-solving course and a legislation/regulation course to introduce students early to the importance of statutes and regulations in everyday life and practice. The second year will then include more experiential learning primarily in simulated practice settings, and the third year will emphasize obtaining some live-client experiences.
A new online teaching system enables faculty to conduct both academic and CLE courses in an interactive and engaging manner, much like that of a traditional classroom setting. Professors interact with students throughout the class period by utilizing the system’s web-cam and chat features. This online learning system enables us to educate a wider audience in a more cost effective manner. Along with conducting online academic classes, we are now offering CLE courses through live streaming webcasts.
In addition to these important initiatives, our Career Planning and Placement Office (CPPO) continues its work to ensure that Akron Law students are best situated to enter the legal market. Besides conducting career planning workshops and counseling appointments with students and alumni, the CPPO hosts on-campus interviews, facilitates job postings, and manages the Law Clerk for Hire Program. With a job placement rate almost 6% higher than the national average, the CPPO continues to be a valuable resource for students and alumni who are in the midst of a difficult legal job market.
Finally, for those who prefer digital communication, we encourage you to provide us with your e-mail address so that we may communicate with you electronically. By reducing our printing and mailing costs, we will be able to target even more of our valuable resources for the direct benefit of our students and to the enhancement of our academic programs. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate whether you would like to opt into digital-only correspondence from Akron Law. Such correspondence will be sent sparingly and will contain the same information that is sent through the U.S. Mail system, i.e., information about alumni events, CLE programs, Akron Law updates, etc.
As you may have noticed, we began this transition to digital communication with the spring 2013 edition of Akron Law, our alumni magazine, which was published in digital-only format and is available for viewing on the Akron Law website. We plan to have a single magazine issue for the 2013-14 academic year.
As we move into the future, we welcome your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. Please stay in touch.
Elizabeth A. Reilly ('78)
Interim Dean and C. Blake McDowell, Jr. Professor of Law