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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|Law School Named among Nation's 'Most Innovative'|
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga University School of Law has been named among the 10 Most Innovative Law Schools in the nation by preLaw magazine. The publication indicated Gonzaga made the list primarily due to a new curriculum introduced by Dean Earl Martin that will debut in fall 2009.
The Law School launched a comprehensive program review in spring 2007 at Martin’s urging that reinforces the school’s commitment to skills training while promoting professionalism throughout the curriculum.
“These law schools are shunning tradition and trying new, extraordinary methods to help their students jet to the top of their profession,” the publication noted.
The publication arrived at the rankings by asking the nation’s law school deans to nominate schools, faculty and programs. Stories about the rankings appeared in the winter 2008 issue of preLaw and in the January 2009 issue of National Jurist magazine; preLaw is a publication of National Jurist.
“This is a grand investment,” Martin said of the new and improved curriculum. “I’m so proud of our faculty for committing themselves to this.” The most significant change is a renewed integration between every course, addressing Gonzaga’s core values of imparting knowledge, professionalism and skill enhancement, Martin said.
The new curriculum encourages first-year students to take a litigation skills lab in their first semester that focuses on a case study that follows the life of a tort case. Its goal is to take students through a series of skills exercises and professionalism problems in which they also may face ethical issues.
The second year gives students a chance to refer back to simulations from their lab experience during one of their legal research and writing courses. This will help the students fully understand issues brought up in the earlier session, Martin said. The primary goal is to challenge students with multiple skill exercises and professional problems they will likely experience as attorneys.
“We’re breaking down the silos (and) creating a curriculum that builds on itself,” Martin said. “This integration across courses will give students a real set of skills.”
The Gonzaga Law School also is ranked among the Top 100 law schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report magazine in its Best Graduate Schools, 2010 edition. Gonzaga is tied at 100th place on the 100-school list.
“All of the improvements and changes we have adopted over the last few years have been embraced because they advance our mission of providing our students with an excellent legal education,” Martin said. “We will always stay focused on the things that fundamentally make GU Law such a high-quality experience for our students.”
For more information, visit preLaw magazine and click the “January 2009” issue. Gonzaga Law School Dean Earl Martin can be reached at (509) 313-3750 or via e-mail.
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