Friday, October 25, 2013

Dean Rachel Van Cleave on the Importance of Collaboration

Dean Rachel Van Cleave (Golden Gate) published an essay about two important conferences: Coming Together, Crafting Solutions. The conferences were (1) the NALP Foundation/West LegalEdCenter forum on Tomorrow's Law Practice: A Forum on the Market, Demand, and Opportunities for Lawyers; and (2) Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers conference Connecting the Academy and the Profession. In this essay, she emphasizes the importance of collaboration: "Private lawyers, government attorneys, public interest lawyers, legal educators, and even law school regulators must come together at the table for the betterment of the profession." According to Dean Van Cleave:

The candid conversations at these conferences constitute a significant shift away from the finger-pointing that has dominated discussions among and between these constituencies. Unlike some, embroiled in today's political stalemate in the federal government, we must choose to take on our challenges and accomplish productive change. While the pointed and rigorous debates of differences and misunderstandings are very important, it is our common interests and goals that provide an important framework for continuing to advance the legal profession by preparing today's law students for a new practice.

It is clear that lawyers from all sectors of the profession share a critical and fundamental point of view: we want a positive future for the legal profession, justice and democratic values, and we care deeply about the success of our students. It follows that this future also lies with the success of current and prospective law students. Focusing on a framework that is based on cultivating our future colleagues can help us ensure that the legal profession flourishes and fulfills its essential goals of serving justice and our democratic society.

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