Notre Dame Law students will soon have the opportunity to learn tax law by practicing it under the close supervision of full-time expert faculty. It is an exciting development for all of us at the law school. Moreover, at a time of straitened budgets, we have secured financing from the IRS for the clinic, a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
Lately I have been spending some fruitful hours reviewing a treasure trove of data collected by a 12-year-long longitudinal study of law graduates who passed the bar in the year 2000. The survey results are available in a publication called “After the JD.” I commend it to your attention.
Thanks to distance-learning technology, professors as well as students have much more flexibility than previous generations did. Today a professor might teach in Chicago one week and in South Bend the next.
Dean Nell Jessup Newton writes about how when she performs faculty reviews each spring, she is humbled by the amount of work undertaken by her colleagues to mentor students, contribute to the development of the law, increase the academic reputation of the law school, and build a great community.
I am sitting at my desk, back from vacation, swamped under the combination of the paperwork that accrued while I was gone and what seems like an unusual amount of pre-term work. I am realizing that I am also just four weeks away from teaching a four-credit contracts course for the first time in 10 years and wondering “What was I thinking?” Although some professors can glance at their notes, stroll into class and conduct a brilliant session, I’ve always been the kind that has to review everything, rewrite my notes and build up a certain level of anxiety before teaching, like the actor who falls flat if she doesn’t experience stage fright. In other words, I’ve signed up for what could be a world of pain in the fall semester of 2013.
Chicago is the No. 1 destination for Notre Dame Law School graduates, followed closely by Washington, D.C., New York City and Los Angeles, with Indianapolis rounding out the top five. But while many NDLS students plan to practice law in a major metropolitan area, until recently there were limited opportunities for them to explore and experience what it is actually like to practice law in a big city.
One of the benefits of writing this column is that it gives me time to reflect on aspects of Notre Dame Law School that are known and appreciated in South Bend and among our graduates, but are perhaps not as well known to the Indiana bench and bar.