« Skills education in law school: why it matters right now | Main | The 80-year-old debate »

February 25, 2007

Innovative from Birth

Johnphone_small In a recent discussion with the president of a university which has both a medical school and a law school, he mentioned a fact I found surprising: That while over the past twenty years several new law schools have started, no medical school has been founded in the U.S. since the mid-80's.

While some people have objected to the number of new law schools, at the very least they should be providing us with some interesting models of innovation. New schools like the Appalachian School of Law, Florida International, Ava Maria, and others have had to seek out niches and employ innovation to attract students and faculty. Appalachian, for example, started out emphasizing the training of lawyers willing to work with the poor and oppressed.

At some point, it would be interesting to have a conference involving these new schools, to compare what innovations have worked, and which haven't. Out of necessity, they have relied on innovation more than many of us, and we probably have something to learn from them, if we choose to listen.

-- Mark Osler

February 25, 2007 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Innovative from Birth:


This president was wrong in telling you that no medical schools had begun in the US since the mid '80s. Florida State University started a medical school several years ago. Ironically, that omission is probably because FSU's innovative model departs from the old-style vision of what a medical school should look like. FSU doesn't have a teaching hospital and is designed to prepare students for more rural practices as general or family practitioners. This is one of the highest need practice types in the country, but the one least served by medical schools because the schools are more focused on specializations that fit faculty research interests.

Posted by: anon | Feb 26, 2007 12:38:51 AM

Mark, great idea!!

If I help a bit, might you be will/able to write this up for a panel at next year's AALS? I am sure folks at new schools --- which also include Drexel and I think a new one in Charlotte, NC --- would like to have the AALS forum to discuss their experiences.

Do you think a blog can sponsor an AALS panel?

Posted by: Doug B. | Feb 26, 2007 7:26:22 AM

If any blog can, it's us! And Anon-- thanks for the info. Kudos to Florida State. It is intriguing how that start-up replicates the focus of some of the newer law schools.

Posted by: Osler | Feb 27, 2007 2:26:23 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.