Forecast 2014: A New Campus And Deeper Partnerships

, The Connecticut Law Tribune


Jennifer Brown
Jennifer Brown

For Quinnipiac University School of Law, 2014 will bring profound change as we move to a new location; forge new cross-disciplinary partnerships with Quinnipiac's schools of medicine, business and education; and deepen our existing partnerships with the profession. All of these changes will enable us more effectively to pursue our mission: educating the whole lawyer to understand and serve the whole client.

In July 2014, we will move the law school to a newly-designed and renovated building on Quinnipiac's North Haven Campus. The new law center will encompass more than 150,000 square feet on three floors. It will provide 40 percent more space for our clinical programs. Our library will feature a two-story atrium and three reading rooms (including one devoted to our alumni) and a beautiful "Library Commons" we expect to serve as an intellectual center of gravity to host trainings and workshops.

In addition to standard large classrooms for lecture and discussion, we'll have seminar-style rooms and flexible classrooms that can be easily rearranged for experiential learning. A new collaborative-style classroom will be wired to let small groups of students draft documents on a shared monitor, while a teacher has the option to display each group's work on a larger screen so the class can compare projects. Even our largest classrooms facilitate collaboration; they allow students to move seamlessly from lecture to small group, simply by spinning their chairs and gathering around smaller, elliptical tables that alternate with more traditional classroom countertops.

Continuing our excellence in advocacy and dispute resolution, we'll make full use of a suite of classrooms designed for trial practice, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Our 180-seat, two-tiered courtroom with judges' chambers and jury deliberation room will accommodate our trial advocacy courses and mock trial teams and provide a comfortable space for conferences and symposia, many co-sponsored by groups from the practicing bar. To support our path-breaking course in "Visual Persuasion and the Law," we'll have a film editing studio adjacent to a flexible classroom where students can create the visual aids that support effective advocacy.

We expect our building dedication ceremony in the fall of 2014 to be an inspiring gathering of our alumni and friends.

Evolving Curriculum

A great building needs great programs, and we have several planned for 2014. In March, our Health Law Journal will host a symposium on Public Health and Gun Violence. Plans are also underway for the eighth Speziale Symposium on alternative dispute resolution, co-sponsored by the Connecticut Bar Foundation. It will be held in collaboration with Quinnipiac's nearby schools of medicine, nursing and health sciences, and will focus on ADR in health care.

Our curriculum will continue to evolve in 2014. Len Dwarica, the director of our Center on Health Law and Policy, has already added two new courses to our health law curriculum: "Health Care Information Privacy" and "Federal Regulation of Health Care/Fraud and Abuse."

This winter, we are rolling out two new practicum courses that blend doctrine and theory with real-world practice opportunities. Our "Bankruptcy Lab" is an optional, one-credit add-on to our standard bankruptcy course. Murtha Cullina partner Robert White has collaborated with full-time faculty member Alexander Meiklejohn to design a problem-based course in which students will participate in a variety of counseling and negotiation simulations involving financially troubled debtors.

This pilot course will likely become a model for future "labs" appended to doctrinal courses. These courses will also partner full- and part-time faculty, the better to bridge our students' transition from theory to practice.

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