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Session Summary: Specialized Legal Education

Specialized Legal Education — Institutes, Certificates, and Programs in the Legal Education Marketplace

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

This discussion group addressed far reaching topics affecting legal education and the evolution of non-JD masters and certificates programs. Participants included current and former deans, administrators, directors and faculty at schools that either have such programs or are contemplating starting such programs. The discussion addressed the cost benefit analysis that must be a part of starting any such program, and how to identify subject matter specific concentrations and certificates that will best serve the market. Much of the discussion focused upon whether these programs fit within the mission of the discussants’ home institutions’ missions. A recurring comment regarding the role of law schools in running such programs was that law schools must shift from thinking of themselves as just training lawyers and view their role more generally as institutions of legal instruction. The discussion was collaborative and instructive of the state of specialized legal education at institutions across the nation.

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