Letter from the Dean
Almost 50 years ago, Georgetown University Law Center put law school clinics on the map. We have continued to be a leader in clinical education ever since. In the last decade we have been at the forefront of another landmark innovation in experiential learning as we have developed more than 30 practicum classes, which combine seminars with field placements and provide students with opportunities they can’t get anywhere else. Between our clinical offerings, our practicum and our other experiential course offerings, we can now guarantee our second- and third-year law students an experiential course every semester.
Another “first” may not just revolutionize legal education but the legal profession itself. Starting this September, we embarked upon a unique experiment: We are teaming up with two law firms, DLA Piper and Arent Fox, to create a new law firm that serves people whose incomes make them ineligible for free legal services but who can’t afford the $200 to $300 an hour it costs to hire a lawyer in Washington, D.C. The D.C. Affordable Law Firm (see page 24) consists of six of our newly minted graduates trained to provide low bono legal services in the areas of elder law, domestic relations, housing, immigration and nonprofit transactional law. They will receive an LL.M. in advocacy — and their clients will receive the legal help they so desperately need. Millions of Americans can’t afford a lawyer, but it is our hope that the D.C. Affordable Law Firm will help address that social justice crisis. As far as we know this kind of partnership is a first — but it’s an idea we hope is replicated throughout the country.
Speaking of firsts, we recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Juvenile Justice Clinic, which was the first clinic of its kind when it was founded in the mid-1970s (see page 34). “Think of what it might mean for a 15-year-old to spend a year in jail without a lawyer, …” Professor Wally Mlyniec has said. “So my first vision was to implement the Gault decision.” Mlyniec, who has done an extraordinary job directing the clinic from the beginning, is stepping down to become its senior counsel. Professor Kristin Henning (LL.M.’97), who first came to Georgetown in 1995 as a Prettyman-Stiller fellow, is the clinic’s new director; a gifted teacher, scholar and lawyer, Henning will help us build on the vitally important work the clinic has been doing since its inception.
Meanwhile, you — our alumni — continue to amaze me in every way. Your generosity is on full display in this issue, from the Opportunity Scholarships you fund (see page 46) to the 939 applicants you’ve interviewed in 44 states and 14 countries. As our Dean of Admissions Andy Cornblatt says, in an article celebrating his 35th year at the Law Center (see page 8), “One of the joys of this job is that we are dream givers.” But if Andy and his team are the dream givers, then you are the dream sustainers. Thanks for all you do.
Dean William Treanor