By Dean Patricia White
In this past decade three significant developments came together simultaneously to create a period of challenge and flux in the legal profession: the growth of technology, the globalization of the legal profession, and the recession. As the legal profession has adjusted to these developments - often slowly and begrudgingly -- law schools have too. Throughout this period, the University of Miami School of Law has sought to anticipate the needed changes in the profession and to lead the way with innovative approaches and programs.
Our goal has been, and remains, to treat the challenges of the period as important opportunities to think hard about the role of law and lawyers in the 21st century.
Law plays a crucial role in the urgent issues of our time – climate change, international, national, and personal security, economic and social rights and liberties, health policy, immigration policy, trade policy, tax policy, intellectual property development and protection – or of any time – due process rights, criminal justice, the protection of fundamental human rights, property rights, contractual rules and principles, procedural and adjudicative systems – the list goes on. Our job as a law school is to educate students who are well-prepared to contribute usefully in these spheres and to contribute ourselves as scholars, policy makers and defenders of the rule of Law.
The University of Miami School of Law comes to these challenges with the great assets of over 20,000 living alumni in dozens of countries around the world, more than 20 joint-degree programs with other colleges within a major research university, international partnerships with over 40 schools and an entrepreneurial spirit which is second to none.
The law school of today is not your father’s law school nor is it your granddaughter’s law school. It is a law school which constantly tries to anticipate that the law school of the future will retain the best of the past, and exemplify the best of the present. That is what we aspire to do.