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University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law - Summer 2013

‘Back to the Future’ Emphasis on experiential learning 14 summer 20 1 3 s t e v e y e at e r Legal practice is experiencing fundamental structural change due to a convergence of economic pressures, improved productivity through technology, and the globalization of the trade in legal services. Legal education must change in order to prepare tomorrow’s lawyers to thrive in the new landscape. We should not be too fast to try to predict the future, though. We all remember the disappointment when the individual jet packs promised to us by cartoons when we were children failed to materialize in our adult lives. We need to respond to rapid change without becoming captive to gimmicks. At Pacific McGeorge we are revising our curriculum fundamentally to address “the new normal” in legal practice. My theme may be surprising: I firmly believe that we need to go “back to the future.” The lawyers of tomorrow will require some specialized training in skills and technology that are relatively new to legal education. For example, law students should understand project management and how to deploy a wide range of developing technology to reduce the cost of legal services to their clients. However, I believe that the main thrust of curricular reform should be to return to the roots of legal education by emphasizing basic competencies in analytical thinking, written and oral expression, persuasion, and conflict resolution. Lawyers and judges tell me that new lawyers could be better trained in these basics. I look forward to leading our faculty to rediscover how to instill core competencies even as we embrace the very new environments in which these skills must be deployed. New Master of Science in Law Program Pacific McGeorge will begin to offer a Master of Science in Law (M.S.L.) in fall 2013 to professionals who seek the benefits of advanced training in legal reasoning and analysis. In today’s economy, with so many highly regulated industries, state and federal agencies, and other professional fields impacted by law, professionals deal with law-related issues every day. Now, Pacific McGeorge has an accelerated program to help professionals gain and apply the legal skills they need. Faculty will work with each student to develop a customized curriculum with a rigorous legal grounding that is infused with skillsbased learning and experiential opportunities. Students will engage in intense collaboration with likeminded professionals, and each will be given opportunities to put his or her new skills to work in California’s capital city. For more information, visit go.mcgeorge.edu/MSL. By Dean Francis J. Mootz III


University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law - Summer 2013
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