University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Since 1895, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law has been preparing students to become excellent attorneys and leaders in the legal profession and society. Known and respected globally for our scholarship, we offer quality academics, a world-class faculty, endless opportunities for hands-on learning, and exceptional career preparation and placement. Our curriculum is strong on fundamentals and embraces innovation, focusing on issues ranging from commercialization of new technologies to conflict resolution to cyber security.

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Begin here. Then read this. Evidence Despite the many flaws of law schools today, and despite naivete, ignorance, and obstinacy on the parts of schools, faculty, law firms, and practicing lawyers, I’m optimistic about the future.  Why?  Because I look at the large number of things in flux today, even looking only and specifically at law practice and legal education, and my story-oriented interpretation is that somethings (plural) are starting to shake loose. The scriptwriters,…
This is the third and final installment of a response to a recent Forbes.com essay from Mark Cohen about the present and future and future of legal education. Mark’s essay is “Post-Pandemic Legal Education.”  I posted a quick hot take as Legal Education’s Waterloo, dove in more deeply with Legal Education’s Waterloo: Urgency, and jumped to the end of the story in Legal Education’s Waterloo: The End Game.  This is…
Begin here. Story One  Evolutionary (or adaptive) professionalism.  Technological change, shifting financial markets, expanding and contracting labor markets, fluid trade patterns – the legal profession has seen these before, and it’s seeing related things now.  The values and principles that define law, lawyers, and the profession are durable and transcend the details of specific organizational forms and educational pathways.  Law schools today and law practice organizations should steer into the skid, so to speak,…
This is the second part of a promised three-part response to Mark Cohen’s recent Forbes.com essay (“Post-Pandemic Legal Education”) about what confronts legal education today and what awaits it in the future. My initial hot take appeared here, as Legal Education’s Waterloo. My first substantive reaction, Legal Education’s Waterloo: Urgency, agreed with the premise that US legal education confronts immense challenges, but it focused on cultural prompts rather than financial ones…
In Legal Education’s Waterloo, I promised a longer comment on an excellent recent provocation in Forbes.com by Mark Cohen, concerning what US law schools are doing, are not doing, and should be doing with respect to training new lawyers for impactful future careers. The longer comment comes in three parts. One has to do the urgency of change. That’s this part. Two, yet to come, will deal with a vision of what legal education…
“Legal education is at a crossroads. Its model was under siege before the pandemic and  underwater now.” “Traditional legal education’s Waterloo may come as a surprise to many in academia, but not for business where pan-industry disruption of dominant provider models has become routine.” Those are key quotes from an urgent new piece by Mark Cohen, at Forbes.com. There’s a lot to like in it (the urgency, for starters), a lot to unpack (the vision of…
The professional world of modern legal services is essentially unanimous in concluding that the analytic skills, which law schools focus on (particularly in US-style JD programs), are only parts of what makes lawyers successful. What are the other skills? Competencies of different sorts. Once we get past elementary matters of substantive legal knowledge; ethical conduct; and perhaps rudimentary law office management, there is less agreement on which competencies matter or matter most. And there is…
“PittsburghsFutures” programming interrupts “Future Law” programming here from time to time. I’m motivated to do that in part by increasingly urgent questions about the future of cities, with Pittsburgh as prime and local example number one (an interest that goes back at least to 2004, via Pittsblog, and continues very recently in the Tribune Review). Pittsburgh legacy leaders’ endless obsession with making Pittsburgh important again drives me bonkers. I am all but…
Compentency-based education for professionals of all sorts is hot right now, and for good reasons. In a changing professional services environment, new professionals need every boost that they can get. This Summer, there are at least three *free* competency-based webinar series about to get under way: the “Passport to Practice” series, the CLI Corporate Legal Leaders Summer Webinar Series, and the Legal Tech Essentials Program at Bucerius Law School. The three…
The following was first published on Friday, May 9, 2020 in the “AALS News,” the newsletter of the Association of American Law Schools, under the section heading, “Faculty Perspectives: The ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Education.” Faculty Perspectives is an ongoing series in which AALS presents authored opinion articles from law faculty on a variety of issues important to legal education and the legal profession. Opinions expressed here are not…