In his First Monday Musings column on Above the Law, Dean Vikram Amar shares his thoughts on how law schools can broaden their teaching horizons. He writes:
"Soon after I arrived in Champaign to begin my tenure as dean of the University of Illinois College of Law in 2015, Above the Law founder and managing editor David Lat interviewed me. (Indeed, that interview planted the seed in my mind for this monthly column.) At that time, I told David that law schools these days seem too isolated and that I wanted to try to help remedy that, at least at my school. In particular, I said I wanted to help (1) 'make law school more collaborative within [a] great research universit[y]' and (2) 'make law school less insular by increasing connections between the legal academy, the law and business professions and the public and by exploring increased connections between Champaign-Urbana and our operations in [our] Chicago Program.
"When I offered these objectives, people may have inferred that I was talking primarily about scholarly/research output, which is something about which all top law schools (mine included) care deeply (perhaps even increasingly). But I was also thinking very much about teaching – I am proud of the fact that I am at one of a relatively small number of law schools where a tenured faculty member feels a heavy obligation to be a highly effective classroom teacher as well as a highly productive and influential scholar.
"But how can law schools be less insular with regard to teaching? Here I can speak from recent example. In my two years at Illinois, I have taught in three classroom formats, each of which is unconventional and each of which involves building bridges outside the College of Law."
Full column on Above the Law