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Texas A&M University School of Law Hires 12 New Faculty & Expands Programs

Posted by William Byrnes on September 23, 2015

Texas A&M University School of Law is quickly distinguishing itself as an institution to watch.

At a time when most schools are cutting back, Texas A&M University has made an unparalleled investment in the future of legal education for Texas, the nation and beyond by attracting an unprecedented 12 new faculty members for its School of Law located inFort Worth.

TAMU-Law-lockup-whiteFive of the new faculty focus on intellectual property issues, adding strength to the school’s Center for Law and Intellectual Property and building on A&M’s strong reputation in engineering and life sciences. These hires cover all aspects of intellectual property, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Together with two existing scholars in the field, A&M Law is now in contention to have one of the country’s top intellectual property law programs.

“This extensive concentration of intellectual property faculty offers students comprehensive coverage, allowing them to develop specialized training based on their individual interests and career paths,” said intellectual property expert and incoming professorPeter Yu. “Our newly expanded program offers an unparalleled focus and makes A&M Law immediately stand out in the intellectual property field.”

Among A&M Law’s seven additional hires are thought leaders with strong backgrounds in legal ethics, commercial law, legal writing, law and economics, tax and international law. They include the newly appointed President of Texas A&M University, Michael K. Young, whose two decades as a legal scholar and dean at Columbia Law included the development of internationally recognized programs in Japanese and Korean legal studies and authorship of numerous briefs, articles and books on U.S. trade law and policy.  Given his leadership, including presidency at two leading universities and service, it is fitting that he will hold tenure in both Texas A&M’s School of Law and the George H. W. Bush School of Government & Public Service.

“I’m pleased to be joining Texas A&M University at this exciting time of my career and their history,” offered Young. “It is a wonderful bonus, to also join my colleagues in the transformation of this law school, legal education nationally and our contributions as scholars to the continued dynamic vitality of Texas.”

“As not only a top tier, public research university, but also a land grant institution, we have a special obligation to bring the academy to the public, and these folks are going to help us expand our efforts to do that,” Dean Andy Morriss said. “We’re particularly excited to have long time bar leaders like legal ethicist Susan Fortney, former Uniform Law Commission Executive Director Bill Henning, and former American Society of International Law Executive Director Charlotte Ku joining us.”

These incoming faculty join the existing academic team, now 55 members strong and punctuated by an ethos of market-disruptive thinking and scholarship. In 2015 alone, A&M Law faculty members have gained national attention for policy papers and commentary on topics including the intersection of water and energy law, developments in intellectual property, law reform in the Middle East, and the changing face of the death penalty.

And in an era when many law schools are cutting staff and faculty as enrollments fall nationally, A&M Law has only enhanced its commitment to lead by expanding curricular options, improving student services, attracting the very best talent and aligning to Texas A&M University’s mission tenet of service to the state, nation and beyond.

One such example is a $370,000 grant awarded to the School of Law from the Access Group. With the grant, A&M Law’s Milan Markovic will serve as principal investigator of the Texas Lawyers Study, examining professional satisfaction and income levels of nearly 88,000 members of the State Bar of Texas. This study will generate an extraordinary amount of data on the economics of the legal profession and the working lives of lawyers that can inform the decision-making of prospective law students and lawyers.

“We’re proud of our work to date, and are inviting all to see how far we’ve come and to take a look at where we are heading,” Morriss said. “By attracting new talent to compliment our strong foundation of scholars, A&M Law is leading by example.”


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ABA task force’s reform of legal education !

Posted by William Byrnes on June 22, 2015

see the reforms at International Financial Law Prof Blog


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Distance Learning Faculty Enrichment Discussion at University of Arizona College of Law Tomorrow

Posted by William Byrnes on April 8, 2015

University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law will host a faculty enrichment presentation tomorrow April 9 from 12 noon (room 237) (PPT –> Arizona WGDE 4-9-15 Final).

“I will introduce the topic with various empirical studies of distance learning pedagogy and outcomes, before turning teaching phototo the findings of the Work Group of Distance Learning for Legal Education’s Best Practice Recommendations for Distance Learning for Legal Education 2.0,” stated William Byrnes.  “The Work Group is an evolving project of faculty and administrators participating from approximately 83 ABA law schools, representative of the four tiers, and its Recommendations are collaboratively developed and authored over a four year period.”

“In 2014 the American Bar Association revised Standard 306 “Distance Education”, expanding opportunities and flexibility for institutions to leverage technological advances within the JD academic curriculum.” explained Byrnes. “The ABA initially acquiesced to an online LL.M. in 1998.  Yet, it is since the initial inception of the Work Group in 2010 that most of the 48 LL.M.s offered online by 30 ABA full approved law schools have been founded.” Byrnes exclaimed, “One ABA law school, William Mitchell, even received a variance to offer a hybrid, partially residential / partially online, JD.  It matriculated 85 candidates in its pioneer class, at its normal LSAT range.”

“As of 2015, nearly all ABA law schools offer the opportunity for an academic experience at a distance for J.D. students,” concluded Byrnes. “But many are still not leveraging communication technologies to enhance that experience and to assist with producing better learning outcomes”.

previous remarks available at Alternative Methods of Teaching and the Effectiveness of Distance Learning for Legal Education

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