Former Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Discusses Challenges Facing Law Schools

Author: Charles Williams

chris_stewart_justice_shepard_web Randall T. Shepard delivered a Clynes Chair Lecture on “The Future of Legal Education” to NDLS students and faculty September 25.

Shepard is a former Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice and the Chair of the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education. This fall he was named Notre Dame Law School’s Judge James J. Clynes, Jr., Visiting Chair in the Ethics of Litigation Within the Judicial Process.

Speaking to NDLS students and faculty in the law school’s Patrick F. McCartan Courtroom, Shepard traced the history of legal education in the United States to show how the evolution of law schools has reflected the changing requirements for obtaining a law license. He then discussed how the ABA Task Force’s draft report urges all actors, including law schools, the ABA and state supreme courts to experiment with reforms to pricing, accreditation, curriculum, and attorney licensing that take into account recent changes in the legal market place.

The Clynes Visiting Chair was created with a gift from the distinguished jurist and Notre Dame alumnus Judge James J. Clynes Jr. (’45). The benefaction reflects Judge Clynes’ strong interest in and dedication to promoting the ethics of litigation within the judicial process. The Clynes Visiting Chair may be held by honored members of the judiciary at both the trial and appellate levels, distinguished law professors, and prominent members of the bar. Previous chairs have included Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.

Photo: Chris Stewart (2L), Associate Dean Mark McKenna, Retired Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard, Dean Nell Jessup Newton

For more information, see More dialogue over law school cost and curriculum, The Indiana Lawyer.