Letter from the Dean
It’s hard to ignore the challenges confronting legal education and the legal profession these days. Declining demand for law school graduates and layoffs at law firms, a drop in law school applications, and what some see as a fundamental shift in the way firms conduct business — these trends concern us all. But they also present real opportunities for change. So when we realized that we would be undertaking our five-year strategic planning process right in the midst of this, it seemed the perfect time to widen our net and seek your opinion in a variety of ways.
As you will see from this issue’s special report, we have done just that. We recently concluded an alumni survey to help us better understand what’s on your mind. We conducted a series of employer roundtables focused on large firms, small firms, government and international work. Our Board of Visitors members formulated “vision statements” to address initiatives in the areas of academics, experiential learning, student development, financial administration and academic support. And our Law Alumni Board members provided their own feedback at their spring meeting.
We also invited 60 alumni — representing law firms, businesses, the government and public interest worlds — to come to campus and share their ideas on legal education. We brainstormed for eight hours a day and talked about everything from the law firm of the future to the importance of business literacy skills. The take away: While there is always room for improvement, Georgetown Law is already on the cutting edge, and the best way to move forward is to build on our strengths — our rich menu of courses, our outstanding clinical program, our Jesuit heritage of service, and of course our scholarship and teaching.
As the process continues, the strategic planning committee (co-chaired by Professors Jane Aiken and Mitt Regan) will be assimilating all the ideas we’ve received from alumni, faculty, students and staff — and producing a new five-year plan for the faculty to approve by year’s end.
Georgetown Law has always been a thought leader — and never more so than now. As always, thanks for all you do to support, strengthen and engage your alma mater. We wouldn’t be here without you.
Dean William Treanor