The spring semester takes students at Richmond Law by storm. In the midst of a hectic class schedule and associated activities, it may not seem like there's time to reflect on why each of us chose to attend this school. However, many parts of the student experience are under review at this time, so it may be important to understand what is most important to you.
Dean Wendy Perdue, currently in her sophomore year as Dean of Richmond Law, held a town hall style meeting with students on Wednesday, February 13, 2013. She scheduled the forum to share her current goals and the progress she and other administrators are making to improve student life and school reputation. She updated those who attended the meeting on efforts to ensure graduates are fully prepared for legal practice. Dean Perdue also discussed her fundraising efforts, which will add to the summer public interest stipends, the bridge to practice fellowship, and eventually, a loan forgiveness program.
Attendees learned that while we've been studying, the administration has been studying as well. They are reviewing whether an academic curve ought to be used anymore, what that curve should be, whether the class ranking system should be changed, and what the law skills coursework should include. Among other things, the Student Services Committee is considering what level of participation is appropriate for first year students in competition activities. Dean Perdue acknowledged that "reasonable minds may differ" on what changes are appropriate for the school. This is where students need to be involved in the process. What made Richmond Law your choice? You are likely spending six figures to be here: what makes it worth the time, effort, and cost of attendance? Would you have made a different decision to attend if you were not permitted to participate in moot court, alternative dispute resolution, or TAB your first year?
For me, Richmond Law is a place where students have a wonderful variety of options, in spite of the small size of the school. The activities and clinical placements give each one of us a chance to shine. A student who isn't a natural in the classroom can excel in other ways, which strengthens the reputation of the school as a whole. We are a community of talented people who learn in different ways. Just like any other community, it will fail without a commitment to foster the varied learning styles of current and future students.
Heidi Williams is a 2L at the University of Richmond School of Law. Submit comments and letters to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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