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Center on Global Legal Profession Launched at Indiana University

Law schools are accustomed to teaching students about precedent and what's been done before, rather than helping them to identify existing trends and figure out how to move forward.  But the Indiana University Maurer School of Law's new Center on Global Legal Profession will break fresh ground, by "focusing on the unprecedented challenges lawyers are facing around the world and develop research and training materials to assist current and future attorneys in their understanding of international legal systems." The National Law Journal offers additional details.

True to its global focus, the launch of the Center on the Global Legal Profession was announced in New Delhi at a conference sponsored by the Maurer School of Law and the Jindal Global Law School on on how globalization is affecting the practice of law. Professor William Henderson, (who blogs at the Empirical Legal Studies Blog) will head the new Center, working closely with several other law professors. Says Henderson of the Center:

This is the first time we will have legal academics step back and look at the global legal industry as a whole and acknowledge patterns that have evolved over the last few decades ... We will take broad data analysis from within the United States and compare it to trends and patterns that span other continents. We are reining in data that has recently become available to help explain those patterns, then essentially cracking the data open to see what we can expect in the future.

Henderson also anticipates that the Center will give students an advantage in global markets:

Our students can have a huge leg up if they understand how to effectively develop the trust and confidence of clients and other legal professionals ... And they will, because IU will have a seat at the table. Everyone will know that Indiana Law graduates are synonymous with skill, integrity and judgment. They will know our graduates are committed to the core values of our profession.

Interestingly, even though many countries have looked to the American system as a model, now lawyers in the U.S. will be looking toward those countries for guidance. For example, according to Professor Jindal Krishnan, who will also work with the Center, Indian law firms are taking a greater lead on the international stage, and American lawyers will need to understand the infrastructure in India and developing countries.

By giving law school graduates real world skills and understanding so that they can compete in global markets, the Center provides a valuable service. But the Center is just a start at one school. There's more discussion from Paul Lippe at The Am Law Daily on what other law schools can do to make legal education more practical and therefore, more valuable.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on August 12, 2009 at 09:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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