UNH Law Joins Groundbreaking National Legal Education Initiative

UNH Law Joins Groundbreaking National Legal Education Initiative

Thursday, August 25, 2011
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The University of New Hampshire School of Law will lend its expertise in creating client-ready lawyers to a national initiative that aims to facilitate innovation in legal education.

The initiative, Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, was created by the University of Denver’s Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. It centers around a consortium of 15 law schools, including UNH Law, that are committed to innovation in the spirit of the Carnegie Report, a widely cited 2007 publication that called on law schools to better prepare graduates for the practice of law.

Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers leverages the Carnegie Report, said its executive director, Rebecca Love Kourlis. "Our project provides support for shared learning, innovation, ongoing measurement and collective implementation," she said. "We are very excited to launch this project to encourage new ways to train law students and to measure innovation in the years to come."

UNH law is nationally known for its practice-based learning, a concept it was founded on. Its Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program is a unique two-year bar practicum created jointly by the New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice Linda Dalianis, the law school, the state bar association and the state board of bar examiners.

The Daniel Webster Scholar program eliminates the two-day bar exam and instead offers a two-year exam: Students counsel clients, appear before judges, and develop their skills and judgment in both simulated and clinical settings; their written and video portfolios are examined each semester by bar examiners. In short, they practice law before they graduate.

The latest edition of Law School Confidential describes the program as “the future of legal education.” Lloyd Bond, a co-author of the Carnegie Report, has said the program “fuses instruction and assessment in the most intimate and integrated way that I have ever seen. … It’s two years of what we actually recommended in (the Carnegie Report), integrated in such a way that truly instruction and assessment are indistinguishable.”

“UNH Law is proud to be part of this important effort, and we look forward to sharing with others in the academy the many things we are doing here to produce practice-ready lawyers for this new and demanding century,” said Dean John Broderick. “We also look forward to learning from innovations shared by others. This is an exciting and challenging time in legal education, and collaboration has never been more important.”

For more information on the initiative, visit http://educatingtomorrowslawyers.du.edu/.