The dean of Elon Law answered questions from Oklahoma attorney Adam Banner about the biggest challenges facing law students, the evolution of American legal education, and the way technology will impact criminal defense, among other topics.
Elon University School of Law Dean Luke Bierman took part in a Q&A this spring with a prominent Oklahoma legal blogger whose writings have also appeared in the Huffington Post and the ABA Journal.
Bierman’s feature on “The Oklahoma Legal Group Blog” was part of an ongoing series of profiles of law school deans and their views on the future of American legal education. The blog noted Elon Law’s nationally recognized excellence in legal professionalism education and its recent accolades as one of the top law schools for practical training.
Bierman answered questions ranging from the biggest challenges facing law students to the way teaching law today is different than when he was a student. Other questions were more lighthearted, such as his favorite legal movies and which three people (real or fictional) from the law or government he would invite to a meal.
From the Q&A:
“The impacts of technology, of professional stratification, of diversity, of competition, and of things we cannot even yet imagine are the things that will challenge our students. Our students must learn to be adaptable and entrepreneurial in ways that we haven’t really asked law students and lawyers to be in the past. I’m proud that my law school is giving fresh attention to engaged learning with required full-time residencies in practice so that our new students learn exactly what it means to be adaptable and entrepreneurial in real life situations.”
Bierman, a highly accomplished attorney, legal scholar and teacher, and national leader in experiential legal education, has served as dean of Elon Law since une 2014. Since then, he has led the law school in adopting a unique and innovative curriculum that integrates traditional classroom instruction with highly experiential components. This logically sequenced course of preparation, including a course connected full time residency in practice and other focused support, provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and professionalism to excel as 21st century attorneys in a curriculum that is 2½ years and with 20 percent lower tuition than the average tuition at a private law school.
Before joining Elon Law, Bierman was associate dean for experiential education and distinguished professor of the practice of law at Northeastern University School of Law. He served as general counsel for the Office of the New York State Comptroller from 2007 to 2010, was executive director of the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University where he held the rank of associate professor of political science, founded the Justice Center and directed the Judicial Division at the American Bar Association, and served as chief attorney for the Appellate Division, Third Department, of the New York Supreme Court in Albany where he also clerked for the court’s presiding justice and an associate justice.