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Emory Law Strategic Plan 2021-2026

Vision

Emory Law will continue to be a national and global leader in legal education by welcoming and supporting a diverse law school community, by carrying out pathbreaking and influential scholarship, and by offering exceptional teaching and practical learning opportunities that enable our alumni to become respected professionals and leaders in a rapidly changing world. Together, our community will work to secure a more fair and just society by advancing the rule of law.

Mission

Through scholarship, teaching, service, and immersion in the world and its communities, Emory Law’s mission is to:

  • Prepare students for a variety of careers and ever-changing legal, political, social, and market conditions by providing intellectually challenging and rewarding educational opportunities that integrate theory, doctrine, and experiential learning and that encourage the development of resilient, life-long learners.
  • Develop future leaders who will serve the community through roles in law firms, the judiciary, government, legal education, corporations, public interest organizations, and pro bono work.
  • Instill in students an appreciation of service so they incorporate public service, public interest, and pro bono work into their careers.
  • Produce scholarship that impacts the development of academic disciplines, policy, and legal practice, and that addresses the role of law in meeting society’s greatest challenges.
  • Build and maintain a community based on integrity, mutual respect, and professionalism, and promote a culture of antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion for students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
  • Collaborate with other disciplines within the university, alumni, the legal profession, the city of Atlanta, and the wider world to advance the rule of law and the resulting benefits of accountability, individual rights, social justice, thriving markets, economic development, and environmental resiliency.

Core Values

  • A continuing commitment to excellence that seeks to maximize the potential of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Integrity and professionalism in all that we do both inside and outside the law school.
  • An intellectual community that fosters respect, collegiality, and collaboration in our scholarship, teaching, learning, and service.
  • Inclusivity in the recruitment, retention, and support of students, faculty, and staff to build and sustain a community of diverse backgrounds, traditions, heritages, and perspectives.
  • An engaged, dynamic community that approaches challenges within the changing legal profession and greater society with creativity, transparency, innovation, and a commitment to public service.

Goals

Goal 1: Revise our curriculum and course of study to meet the challenges of rapid changes in law and the legal profession to prepare our students for productive and rewarding careers.

  • Create curricular pathways for students that integrate theory and practice and include capstone experiences
  • Expand externship placements, modernize transactional/trial advocacy programs, add new credit-bearing clinics
  • Expand the use of simulation approaches, programs, and offerings
  • Enhance use of technology and consider expansion of online approaches in the JD program
  • Provide a more integrated approach to professionalism and ethics across the curriculum
  • Improve coverage of bar-related topics and bar readiness

Goal 2: Build and maintain a diverse faculty that will, through its scholarship and teaching, position Emory Law to play a central role in addressing issues of critical importance to legal practice and our society.

  • Recognize and seize opportunity to reshape faculty through a multi-year hiring process
  • Recognize all faculty for their scholarly productivity and impact
  • Enhance scholarly productivity and impact of tenure stream faculty
  • Increase faculty engagement as experts and thought leaders
  • Increase the size of faculty complement and number of endowed positions
  • Expand support for teaching excellence

Goal 3: Support the development and recognition of research and teaching excellence in areas that build on the strengths of the university and our location in Atlanta, as a major economic center, a significant health care hub, and a vibrant center for the civil rights movement.

  • Enhance recognition for existing centers of excellence (CSLR, VHCI)
  • Increase collaboration with other Emory units, including the business, medical, public health, and theology schools and the humanities and social sciences departments
  • Enhance our collective research focus and impact in Corporate and Transactional Law, Health Law, and Civil and Human Rights Law and Social Justice
  • Build on strengths in international, comparative, and interdisciplinary perspectives to develop distinctive approaches to these areas

Goal 4: Develop supportive and collaborative student engagement and development programs that enable students to thrive while in law school and to succeed as they launch their chosen careers.

  • Improve academic advising
  • Reinvigorate practice societies
  • Ensure that career and public service programs offer appropriate staffing and support for students seeking employment in a diverse range of practice and geographic settings
  • Expand and improve bar readiness programs
  • Enhance state and federal clerkship opportunities
  • Enhance the Center for Public Service

Goal 5: Ensure that Emory Law incorporates access, antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in our hiring, admissions, student development, and alumni engagement activities, and encourages and supports efforts to address these principles in teaching and research.

  • Develop leading-edge admission practices and enhance scholarships, financial aid, and LRAP funds
  • Work with partners to enhance the diversity of the legal profession
  • Continue to employ best practices to enhance faculty and staff diversity
  • Create a center for civil rights and social justice
  • Ensure curriculum and pedagogy create inclusive environment

Goal 6: Evaluate and, as appropriate, enhance the law school’s global engagement and the development and implementation of distinguished graduate programs.

  • Build Emory Law’s global profile by supporting research centers and faculty members in securing funding for research collaboration, faculty exchanges, and other forms of high impact engagement
  • Continue distinctive approach to scholarship by incorporating international and comparative perspectives
  • Develop new international student recruitment strategies by building on our international partnerships in China and developing new initiatives in India, South Korea, Germany, and other countries where we already have research connections
  • Evaluate and, as appropriate, augment non-JD programs, including graduate programs, certificate programs, and executive education offerings that target the need for legal knowledge in a broad range of fields
  • Strengthen the international profile and utility of the MCL and LLM degree programs for international law graduates
  • Consider the development of targeted domestic LLM programs and certificate programs in areas of excellence such as business law, civil/human rights, and health law.
  • Enhance the community integration and academic support for international students

Goal 7: Enhance the law school’s operations and infrastructure to address future needs related to legal education and research and to support the initiatives in this plan.

  • Modernize and upgrade facilities
  • Review and optimize key operational processes
  • Plan, support, and invest in staff development
  • Technology investment
  • Drive deeper engagement with alumni
  • Further enhance law school communications and profile
  • Evaluate McMillan Law Library resources and needs in changing environment
  • Complete a comprehensive fundraising campaign