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WashUlaw's 150th anniversary: celebrating our faculty.


Washington University School of Law, affectionately known as "WashULaw," is celebrating a milestone moment this year: our 150th Anniversary. A group of visionary judges and lawyers launched our Law School in 1867 and the School has grown in stature and prominence since that date. (1) Few American law schools existed 150 years ago, and even fewer have continuously operated through the wartime emergencies and economic crises that afflicted our country over the course of the last fifteen decades. WashULaw withstood these national challenges, and now stands as the twelfth oldest law school in the nation and the oldest continuously operating law school west of the Mississippi.

The stability and strength of WashULaw raise an important question: what accounts for this success? Of course, we know that great institutions are built over generations with the help of many visionary, hardworking, and insightful people. But we also know that an essential ingredient of a successful law school is a talented, inspiring, and scholarly faculty. Faculty members shape the learning environment, frame academic debates, and build connections across diverse individuals, communities and regions. Faculty members not only influence the day-to-day experience of students and staff on campus, they profoundly impact the leaders of tomorrow. (2) Throughout our history and up through today, WashULaw has hired, cultivated, and retained one of the very best law faculties in the world--making the role of the Dean at WashULaw a truly exciting and meaningful position.

Over the last 150 years, our law faculty members have authored literally thousands of scholarly books, textbooks, treatises and articles. Throughout our history, our law faculty members have inspired generations of law students in the classroom, in the clinic, in the courtroom, during office hours, and, yes, more recently on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets. Our law faculty members are academic leaders and important agents of change in the legal profession, in our community, and across the nation and globe. Our faculty members have won countless honors, awards, and grants, and have served on panels, boards, and commissions. Without our law faculty, WashULaw would not have had the extraordinary and exciting academic and learning environment that we have cultivated through generations of hard work. We continue to enjoy this environment today inside our beautiful Anheuser-Busch and Seigle Halls on Washington University's campus.

Over the last fifteen decades, our faculty members have taught and researched in diverse legal and cross-disciplinary fields. They have brought diverse backgrounds and experiences, and with each new faculty member that we hire--our School has further cemented its role in the legal academy as one of the very best law schools in the world to learn and discover. To be sure, faculty members have at times departed WashULaw, and we have congratulated them as they have moved on to achieve extraordinary professional success.

The important role that our faculty members have played in building our Law School into one of the truly great institutions of higher learning makes writing this introduction particularly gratifying. The fourteen faculty members who contributed essays to this volume highlight the talent that sits inside our School. As expected, the essays convey a wide range of views, and the faculty members do not attempt to outline a single shared vision on where WashULaw is today or where we should be tomorrow. Rather they explore a variety of important topics, often expressing implicit disagreement on fundamental issues. In my opinion this is very good: we cannot learn, advance, or update without vigorous debate and dialogue.

I will not try to summarize each of essays in this volume, but will offer highlights on the thoughtful contributions. The authors take a variety of perspectives, including historical, theoretical, and empirical. Each advance our understanding of WashULaw, legal education, and the future of our discipline. Four of the essays explore how WashULaw emerged in the immediate post-Civil War period, (3) how legal scholarship and thought has transformed over the eras, (4) and how law faculties have updated and modernized the Law School's curriculum over the last decades. They also note just how much more work we must to do to fully succeed in our educational mission. (5) Three of the essays highlight the reality that WashULaw is part of a larger University and legal system, thereby shedding light on the important role that our School plays in fostering the best possible decisions across campus, in courts, and in our community. (6) Three of the essays investigate cutting-edge substantive topics that have emerged in the faculty member's own scholarly research, (7) classroom teaching, (8) and practice of law. (9) Finally, four of the essays invite readers to be forward-looking: offering insight into the importance of experiential learning, (10) technology, (11) and open-minded engagement for success in a changing and complex legal environment. (12)

As we celebrate our 150th Anniversary, we celebrate WashULaw's great faculty and, simultaneously, the faculty members at institutions of higher learning across the nation and the world. To all faculty members: thank you for your leadership and for all that you do to educate, to inform, to discover, and to build for the future.

Nancy Staudt, Dean and Howard and Caroline Cayne Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law.

(1.) Cartus Rhey Williams, History of the Law Department of Washington University (The St. Louis Law School) 1867 1900 (unpublished Master's Dissertation, Washington University, June 1942); Best Law Schools, U.S. NFWS & world Rep. (2017), best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings (Law School is currently ranked #18).

(2.) Paul D. Umbach & Matthew R. Wawrzynski, Faculty Do Matter: The Role of College Faculty in the Student Learning and Engagement, INDIANA U. BLOOMINGTON. http://nsse. do matter.pdf; see also Ann Weaver Hart. The Importance of Faculty as Active Leaders and Participants in Change, U. ARIZONA (Aug. 1, 2014),

(3.) Russell K. Osgood & Jacob Glickfield, Law Schools at Founding and Today, 53 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 5 (2017).

(4.) John N. Drobak. Beyond Stamp Collecting: Ronald Coase and "Scientific" Legal Scholarship, 53 WASH. U. J.L. & POL'y 21 (2017).

(5.) Leila Nadya Sadat, Washington University School of Law's Global Trajectory, 53 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 35 (2017); Richard E. Finneran, Wherefore Moot Court? 53 wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 121 (2017).

(6.) Susan Ekberg Stiritz & Susan Frelich Appleton, Celebrating Masters and Johnson's Human Sexual Response: A Washington University Legacy in Limbo, 53 wash. U. J.L. & POL'y 71 (2017); Annette R. Appell, Gendered Due Process of Juvenile Justice, 53 Wash. U. J.L. & POL'y 201 (2017); Karen Tokarz & Zachary Schmook, Law School Clinic and Community Legal Services Providers Collaborate to Advance the Remedy of Implied Warranty of Habitability in Missouri, 53 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol.'y 169 (2017).

(7.) Cheryl D. Block, Federal Policy for Financially-Distressed Subnational Goverments: the U.S. States and Puerto Rico, 53 WASH. U. J.L. & POL'Y 215 (2017).

(8.) Daniel Keating, My Favorite Case to Teach: A Literal "Gateway" for Students to Learn Contract Formation, Contract Terms and Legal Realism, 53 WASH. U. J.L. & POL'Y 55 (2017).

(9.) Patrick C. Brayer, The Power of the Public Defender Experience: Learning by Fighting for the Incarcerated and Poor, 53 wash. u. J.L. & POL'y 105 (2017); Michael M. Berger, The Joy of Takings, 53 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 189(2017).

(10.) Robert R. Kuehn, Universal Clinical Legal Education: Necessary and Feasible, 53 Wash. U. J.L. & POL'y 89 (2017): Claire Botnick & Cort VanOstran, Practice Makes Perfect: New Practitioners ' Perspectives on Trends in Legal Education, 53 wash. u. J.L. & POL'y 135 (2017).

(11.) James E. Daily, Embracing New (and Old) Ideas, 53 WASH. U. J.L. & POL'y 157 (2017).

(12.) Michael A. Kahn, Worst Law School Advice Ever, 53 wash. U. J.L. & POL'y 147 (2017).
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Title Annotation:Washington University School of Law
Author:Staudt, Nancy
Publication:Washington University Journal of Law & Policy
Date:Jan 1, 2017
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