Contribution of Board of Trustees Members to Best Practices Movement

Yesterday,  an active and caring member of our school’s Board of Trustees Long Range Planning Committee came to visit me to learn more about Best Practices and the legal education reform movement.  His visit started me thinking about an untapped resource in this reform effort – Board Members.

As we discussed the history of Carnegie and the recommendations of Best Practices, this Trustee noted similarities between the law school reform movement and a local Tech Valley high school inititiave supported by the Gates Foundation.   Both use information about how students REALLY learn, problem solving methods and other good pedagogical tools to assist students to succeed.

The Trustee  also wanted to know how he and other Board members could help.   I will be meeting with his committee later in the month so I’ve begun to think how to answer that question and list some contributions Trustees might make.  I’d welcome others’  instincts and comments. 

SUGGESTED CONTRIBUTIONS by Board of Trustee members:

1) using expert practitioners on the Board as a resource for professors without experience in a particularly practice skill or practice area

2) using Board members who are not lawyers or do not currently practice for interdisciplinary efforts – for example, to integrate business skills into the practice curriculum

3) financial support

4) co-teaching efforts

5) use in creating video-simulations of practice

6) use in providing feedback to students in structured instructional efforts

I think we have potential allies and supporters all around us.  It will be good to focus on how best to access their talents to better our schools and our students’ learning experience.

2 Responses

  1. Taking advantage of these kinds of relationships is a great way to facilitate change in legal education, and to bridge the gap between law school and practice. Judges, alumni and hiring lawyers in our city are very interested in what our students are learning during their three years with us. Retired lawyers are also an excellent resource. For example, we have hired a faculty fellow who is a lawyer who recently retired from a large law firm. He co-teaches clinic case rounds, and brings his insight and experience to the learning process.

  2. […] Best Practices blog recently posted about the value of having input from the Board of Trustees (see March 4, 2009 post) as a law school strives to improve its students’ learning experience.  The first such […]

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