25 August 2014

First Week Complete!

Last week I completed teaching my first week of classes for the fall 2014 semester. Regent Law School starts earlier than most schools but we end a week earlier, which is fine with me.

Between my afternoon and evening sections of Contracts, I have about 60 first-year students. Fewer than the go-go years a half-decade ago but certainly a nice complement. Regent has survived the buffeting of the drop in law school applications better than most of its peers because of its mission. There are many fine law schools across the country including several in Virginia so, unless the school is one of the ├╝ber elite, it must have something distinctive to justify its existence.

Many of Regent's students could attend law school elsewhere so it is the mission that brings them here. That mission, summarized by Dean Jeff Brauch here, presents a vision of law and legal education that transcends analytic abilities, job-ready skills, and even ethical character formation (what's known as "professional identity" nowadays). Grounded in the reality of a transcendent order that bears on all of life, legal education at Regent is quite different than was mine at the University of Wisconsin 30 years ago. And different in a better sense.

Of course, the first week is only one of thirteen and all of us will need to remind ourselves of the importance of that mission in the dark days of winter while taking--and grading--exams.

No comments:

Post a Comment