The legal profession is changing.
For future lawyers, exciting opportunities await those with the new ideas and the right skillset to capitalise on the changes happening to this sector.
In Atlanta, Georgia, one law school offers innovative faculty expertise and programmes that produce such legal talent.
Emory University’s School of Law is the home for many of the nation and the world’s leading scholars in law. Widely published and renowned for dynamic teaching, the school’s faculty work to guide the next generation of path-breakers in this field.
Faculty at Emory Law have unique backgrounds and interests – from pioneering feminism and legal theory, to exploring the intersection of law and religion, to fighting for justice for military combatants and veterans.
In classrooms, they weave their extensive practical experience – from clerking with federal judges to working in private firms – into the subjects they teach.
Laurie Blank, clinical professor of law, serves as director for the International Humanitarian Law Clinic, as well as the Center for International and Comparative Law. When she’s not teaching the law of armed conflict and working directly with students on campus, she is a global leader in shaping the international legal ethos, diving into cutting-edge areas like the enforcement of the rule of law in space.
“The idea of astronauts shooting lasers at each other in outer space is pretty far-fetched,” acknowledges Blank. “But the idea of one country shooting down a satellite? That capability exists.”
“We’re basically trying to take law that has been applied for many decades on land, and sea, and in the air, and try to understand how it applies to things specific to outer space,” Blank says.
Nicole Morris, professor of practice and director of Emory Law’s TI:GER program, is internationally renowned in the field of intellectual property (IP) law. Her recent work includes promoting health innovation technologies in Africa by advising, educating and training African scientists in the business and legal aspects of the health care sector. And Margo Bagley, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, is focused on developing IP rights for uses of indigenous knowledge and genetic resources.
The Asa Griggs Candler professorships refer to an initiative at Emory Law that recruits and retains especially well-qualified senior faculty members. The provost and the dean of the candidate’s school review and approve nominations. To date, seven Emory Law faculty members have been awarded this recognition.
In addition to learning from leading scholars, LLM students have the opportunity to participate in Emory Law’s innovative programmes, designed to offer practical training and preparation for modern practice.
The interdisciplinary TI:GER programme brings together graduate students in law, business, science, and engineering. In this collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology, students work on start-up projects to transform highly promising research into economically viable projects.
Whereas the Transactional Law Certificate programme integrates three primary components – doctrinal courses, business courses, and skills courses – to train students to combine doctrine and practice successfully. Past participants have credited the programme for effectively teaching them how to understand client needs better, from start to finish of a deal.
This is a vital skill for law students to develop because the ability to understand client needs will be one of the top three concerns clients will use to evaluate law firms, according to a report by Wolters Kluwer.
Future legal service would have to be “much more data-driven, insight-based, collaborative, specialised and price-sensitive,” according to the survey of 700 professionals across Europe and the US in law firms, corporate legal departments and business services firms.
Through a rigorous curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and leading scholars as faculty, students at Emory Law are trained to meet the emerging demands of the profession and become potential assets to their future employers.