July 01, 2016

Section Programming Update

Experiential Learning Webinar, Law School Development Conference, and Associate Deans Conference

Erin Ruehrwein, Section Director

Erin Ruehrwein
Section Director

The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is committed to delivering programming that provides valuable and relevant content to its members and the legal education community. The Section presented its first substantive webinar on experiential learning in May, and delivered two of its much anticipated conferences, the Law School Development and Associate Deans Conferences, last month.

On May 4, the Section presented a complimentary webinar entitled “Integrating Experiential Learning in the Classroom.” The webinar was moderated by Kelly Terry of University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and featured speakers Robert Jones of Northern Illinois University College of Law, Jeffrey Thaler of University of Maine School of Law, and SpearIt of Texas Southern University School of Law. The webinar focused on how to successfully utilize and incorporate experiential learning techniques in the classroom in order to develop students' knowledge and skills in preparation for practice. The materials and webinar recording are now available online for your convenience and reference.

The Section hosted the 2016 Law School Development Conference May 31-June 3 in San Diego. The conference, co-chaired by Daniel Rodriguez, dean of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and Trishana Bowden, vice president for advancement at Goucher College, brought together over 200 law school deans and development professionals as they addressed the conference theme, “Fostering Engagement and Investment in a Time of Change.”

The conference opened with a welcome reception and keynote dinner address moderated by Deanell Tacha, dean of Pepperdine School of Law, and featured Dr. John Sexton, president emeritus of New York University, and Kurt Schmoke, president of the University of Baltimore, as they engaged in an in-depth discussion on the current landscape of funding legal education and higher education and the issues that will challenge development initiatives going forward.

Deanell Tracha, John Sexton, and Kurt Schmoke kick-off the 2016 Law School Development Conference

The conference sessions were engaging and covered topics such as the changing landscape of legal education and the impact on philanthropy, building a G.O.L.D. pipeline, crowdfunding, major gifts, planned giving, social media strategies, and how to operate with reduced resources, to name a few. There was also a session for new deans and development officers. Attendees had numerous opportunities to network with one another during breaks, meals, and evening networking receptions.

The Law School Development Conference materials have been posted online.

The Section hosted the Associate Deans Conference, June 16-19, in Minneapolis. The conference was co-chaired by Jackie Gardina, vice dean for faculty at Vermont Law School, and Ngai Pindell, vice provost for faculty affairs at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law. Last held in 2012, the conference focused on the theme of “Adapting to a Changing Landscape,” and had over 120 attendees from law schools across the U.S.

Robert J. Grey, Jr., president of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and ABA president from 2004 to 2005, set the tone for the conference with an inspiring keynote address during the welcome dinner that included an interactive discussion on how to create a diverse group of next generation leaders in the law.

An address by Robert Grey, Jr., opened the 2016 Associate Deans Conference.

Conference sessions focused on topics such as solutions to complex management challenges, the opportunities and challenges created by the changing student population, and a full day of workshops on assessments and outcomes.

The Associate Deans Conference materials are now available on the website.

We look forward to continuing to produce high quality and relevant programming – including additional convenient distance learning opportunities via webinar. If you weren’t able to attend our recent programs, we hope you will have the opportunity to attend our upcoming programming.

As we look to develop new conference and webinar topics, I encourage you to reach out to me directly at Erin.Ruehrwein@americanbar.org with your ideas and suggestions.


Erin Ruehrwein, Section Director