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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“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…
Almost ten years ago, I began writing occasionally about the future of legal education and the legal profession. Living and working in Pittsburgh, as I do, I was struck back then by possible parallels between the rise and demise of 20th century Steel, the American industry largely grown up in and centered on Pittsburgh’s enormous integrated steel mills, and the rise and threatened demise of the 20th century legal profession, largely grown up in and…
Just about two years ago, I posted a series of provocations that I titled, modestly, “An Invitation Regarding Law, Legal Education, and Imagining the Future.” You can read them as blog posts here. I later collected the posts, polished them, and posted the entire thing to SSRN, as an essay. It’s time to prime the pump. The basic themes of the invitation were and are three: One, the challenges and opportunities that beset/confront…
I wrote a series of posts about law school casebooks and what close readings of their origins and uses can tell us about things that can and cannot be changed about legal education, higher education, and more. Here are the links, all in one place: A New Paper Chase Hitting the Books The Strangelovian Law School, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Casebook Bye the Book Closing the Book
This occasional series about the law school casebook, for decades the fundamental teaching unit of American law students and many law students elsewhere, makes the case that micro changes in pedagogical expectations – what we teach with, rather than what we teach – have the potential to open pathways to macro changes in institutional culture both in schools and in the broader profession.  Earlier posts have outlined the broad claim, explored the motivations and incentives…
In this series of posts about the law school casebook [first post here] [second post here], I’ve suggested that the casebook is both emblem and instrument of how the legal profession perpetuates itself as a field.  The obvious subtext is that I believe (along with others) that the profession is overdue for some substantial re-thinking and re-implementing, and that change begins at home. [Since this series began, the chorus of similar…
My occasional series about the law school casebook continues. [First post here.] This is about the future of law, law practice, the legal profession, and legal (and higher) education, filtered through the lens of contemporary law’s most essential artifact, the teaching tool that unites every professor, every lawyer, every judge, and every student, regardless of field, in a shared experience.  The casebook. Law professors love to write things like “use this as a…