SBAND / UND School of Law Joint Committee

To facilitate the integration of legal education and the legal profession in our state and to foster and strengthen the relationship between UND School of Law and the practicing bench and bar in North Dakota.

Goals/Charges

  1. The Joint Committee will advise and support the UND School of Law in its efforts related to the general areas of
    • Program of legal education and curriculum
    • Career services and transition to practice
    • Issues related to legal education or the law school before the State Board of Higher Education, the State Legislature, the American Bar Association, and/or the Association of American Law Schools
  2. The Joint Committee will identify and facilitate opportunities for collaboration and cooperation between the UND School of Law and SBAND consistent with each entity’s strategic mission and goals, such as
    • Mentoring of law students and new attorneys
    • Pro bono programs and services
    • Continuing legal education
    • Attorney networking
    • Services for law students and attorneys
  3. The Joint Committee will advocate for the integration of legal education and the legal profession by advancing
    • The knowledge, skills, and values fundamental to the effective and ethical practice of law
    • Practice-ready graduates with entry-level proficiency and professional self-sufficiency
    • Life-long learning for attorneys
    • Best practices in legal education

Structure

The Joint Committee will be co-chaired by the President of SBAND and the Dean of the UND School of Law. The Committee will be comprised of six additional members, three appointed by the Dean and three appointed by the SBAND Board of Governors. The Committee will also consist of three ex-officio members: the Past-President and President-Elect of SBAND, and the UND School of Law Assistant Dean for Student Life. The first appointed members (not including the co-chairs) will be assigned one-, two- and three-year initial terms in order to stagger the appointments. Appointed members are eligible for reappointment, but limited to serving two consecutive full three-year terms. The Committee shall meet at least twice a year.

Minutes

October 13, 2013

Members Present: Dean Kathryn Rand, Gail Hagerty, Aubrey Fiebelkorn-Zuger, Jack McDonald, Nancy Morris, Professor Patti Alleva, Professor Michael McGinniss, and Professor Margaret Moore Jackson. Staffed by SBAND Ex. Director Tony Weiler.

Approved minutes from April 2012 meeting following the addition of Nancy Morris to those present.

Dean Rand led the discussion of the first topic, which was the hosting of the meeting.  The committee discussed and agreed that UND would set the committee’s agenda and lead the discussion at homecoming, and that SBAND would set the agenda and lead the discussion at the annual meeting.

The committee again discussed ex-officio members and adding the President and President-Elect of SBAND.  Dean Rand also suggested adding Professor Brad Parrish to the committee.  E.D. Weiler will take this issue to the next BOG meeting for discussion.

Next discussion item was big picture issues and how the committee (and the Law School) gets the word out on what is happening at the school.  Dean Rand provided each committee member with the school’s Curricular Mission, the Course List for Fall 2013, and Spring 2014 (listing credits and each Professor), information on Admissions and First Year classes, as well as an update on the Law School Building Project.  To get the word out the committee looked at several ways:  first, Judge Hagerty said she would write a Gavel article on the differences in law school education today, and when she was a student; E.D. Weiler said SBAND could get some of the law school’s information on its website; the committee discussed faculty updates in the Gavel; and finally a discussion on encouraging faculty involvement in SBAND.  The discussion turned to law professors not being members of SBAND because of the difficulty of waiver and the requirement of taking the bar exam.  The committee wanted to explore opportunities for non-practicing or affiliated memberships in SBAND for faculty who were interested in having such a status and to the extent it might facilitate participation in committees, and a greater sense of connectedness.  The discussion also touched on the important issue of whether there could be a process/rule allowing full-time professors at the UND School of Law who teach through practice (i.e., teach in the Law Clinic) to waive in similar to other states, including Kansas and Colorado.

E.D. Weiler indicated he and President Morris will look at this issue.

The Law School professors gave a presentation on a new Professional Foundations class to be offered to the 1Ls in 2014.  An exciting and first of its kind class, it will allow the entire faculty a chance to teach classes in legal skills, ethics, questions about the student’s identity as a lawyer, and professional self-reflection.

President Morris gave an SBAND update that included all the work she has been doing on the annual meeting.  She also discussed her renewed efforts to revamp the SBAND committees, including updated rosters and a mission statement for each.  She also discussed linking Law School information on the SBAND website could benefit practicing lawyers.

Dean Rand identified three action items:  1)  A feature article in the Gavel to be written by Judge Hagerty, Dean Rand, and Weiler; 2) Weiler and Morris will explore the possibility of special membership in the bar for members of the law school faculty who do not practice in the state, but would be valuable resources for SBAND; and 3) the SBAND annual meeting may include a CLE with tenants of the professional foundations class.

Next meeting June 11-13, 2014. Meeting was adjourned.

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June 12, 2013

Members Present: Dean Kathryn Rand, Gail Hagerty, Charles DeMakis, Aubrey Fiebelkorn-Zuger. Staffed by Tony Weiler.

Approved minutes from April 2012 meeting.

The committee discussed and agreed that UND would set the Committee’s Agenda for UND Homecoming in October, and that SBAND would set the agenda for Annual Meeting.

Also a discussion on ex-officio members and adding the President and President-Elect of SBAND. This will be taken to the next BOG meeting for discussion.

Next discussion item was the background of the Joint Committee, and its mission. Dean Rand outlined the mission as stated in the minutes from the last meeting (and detailed in the agenda) and gave an overview of each.

Dean Rand stated the first goal of the committee is to advise and support the School of Law in its efforts, including discussions at the BOG meetings on how best to work together, including students working with the bar, SBAND's support of UND students through LAP, and making sure both stay engaged with what is happening. Judge Hagerty stated it’s important to look at small items and objectives for the group, such as the Rural Justice Project where 3 law clerks are working for rural judges. May want to expand that program going forward, and look at private practice, where the relationship could continue after law school. Discussed S.D.’s project and how it is being implemented. Some interest in having someone from S.D. address it at a future meeting.

Discussed LAP and the BOG’s vote to move forward to include students.

The next discussion item was mentoring. Dean Rand talked about the afternoon session of the Annual Mtg. that will discuss mentoring, how it's a good joint program with the bench, bar, and school. Discussion of a focus group on “practice readiness” and what it means to practitioners; 1 year out of school, 3 years out of school, and what tools are needed; what does practice mean and how do we impart that to law students. Some states looking at credit for practice, more mandatory experience learning, and how that fits in with ABA requirement of certain core skills.

Next topic is a “big picture” discussion on trends in law school education. Dean Rand talked about what other states are doing, and what UND can do as far as being ahead of the curve. Discussion on perhaps inviting someone from the ABA to talk about national trends. Discipline issues, professionalism could all be covered on a “real world” basis from what is being done in practice. This would help students.

The next item discussed was the Homecoming CLE and possible topics. A panel with law school faculty discussing big picture topics in an open discussion on legal education, then at the next Annual Meeting a possible roundtable with an expert on education and practice that the committee could facilitate; the law school faculty would enjoy that type of interactive conversation.

The Dean then gave a law school report. A new and revamped Professional Foundations Course; the new building project, including planning for the next year and breaking ground sometime in the spring of 2014. Former Dean LeBel is on the planning committee, and there may be some work done jointly with the medical school and its new building. There will be an upcoming ABA site visit in March ’14, with certain steps to be done beforehand including questionnaires for students and faculty (self-assessment).

Dean Rand gave an update on the faculty, and indicated Paul LeBel’s return to the faculty with the building project his top priority; he will teach some courses in the spring of ’14. There will also be 3 new tenure track professors on staff.

Next meeting UND Homecoming Oct. ’13.

Meeting adjourned.

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