The Business Issue: New Skills For New Lawyers
Law schools have traditionally taught students to “think like a lawyer.” But thinking like a lawyer in 2016 can also mean understanding a client’s business or knowing how to launch a business of one’s own. “Law schools traditionally taught students to think rigorously and carefully, and that’s crucial,” Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor explained to a roomful of alumni during Reunion Weekend 2016. “But if you think about the arc of your careers, there are other things that you need to do to in order to be a great lawyer — or in order to be a leader.”
A key component of the Law Center’s strategic mission is teaching law students the competencies they will need as lawyers. Things like understanding finance and accounting and organizational behavior. And Georgetown Law is leveraging one of its greatest assets — its alumni — to help determine the scope of those competencies and how to convey them effectively to students. “What is the skill or the competency that is most important that we equip our students with?” Treanor asked alumni. “We brought you here today to help us think through this.”
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Faculty Article: Our Republican Constitution
By Randy Barnett
Americans today are divided politically, ideologically, and culturally. Some of us live in blue states and watch CNN; others live in red states and watch Fox News. Some Americans want more government, others less. We engage in passionate debate over myriad issues: gun control, health care, same-sex marriage, immigration, the war on terrorism — the list of issues that divide Americans goes on and on. Our divisions are reflected in print, on the airways, and increasingly online. Battles are fought in city councils, state legislatures, and in the halls of Congress.
Of course, as we saw with Obamacare, the Supreme Court too is divided. This is because Americans are not just divided about politics, culture, and ideology. Americans are also divided about the Constitution itself. Every open seat on the Supreme Court is an occasion for intense partisan conflict. Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court justices become Kabuki theater in which our deep political conflicts are transformed into competing visions of the Constitution.
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Faculty Article: The Future of Foreign Intelligence: Privacy and Surveillance in a Digital Age
By Laura K. Donohue
Supporters of the government’s bulk collection of citizens’ Internet and telephony metadata often justify the programs on the grounds that metadata represents a limited intrusion on privacy. They suggest that metadata provides relatively innocuous information—such as who contacts whom, when, and for how long. Because the actual written material, or the communication itself is not included, the logic runs, the impact on individuals’ privacy is minimal.
At best, this argument is misleading. It fails to convey what can be learned from metadata, the insight that it provides into our daily lives, and the level of intrusion that it represents. It provides the context for everything we do. Metadata can reveal the most intimate details of our lives. And it is far easier to sift through and to analyze than pure content.
As NSA’s former general counsel, Stewart Baker, explained, “Metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life.” He continued, “If you have enough metadata you don’t really need content . . . [It’s] sort of embarrassing how predictable we are as human beings.” General Michael Hayden, the former NSA and CIA director, put the point even more strongly: “We kill people based on metadata.”
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