News and Information
June 29, 2007

Globalization, Diversity are Conclave Themes

On June 8, 100 practicing lawyers, judges, and law-school deans and professors gathered at the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville for a half-day conclave on legal education.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues of common interest to all three branches of the legal profession and to exchange ideas and information about legal education and ways in which the practicing bar and the bench can be helpful to the law schools in Virginia.

Following opening remarks by William R. Rakes, current chair of the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and Thomas A. Edmonds, executive director of the Virginia State Bar and former dean of the University of Richmond Law School, two panels of distinguished lawyers, judges and legal educators presented the program.

One panel addressed globalization of the legal profession and curricular changes needed in the law schools to better prepare students for practice in the much changed profession they will enter. The other focused on how to achieve greater diversity in both law- school student bodies and in the profession, including innovative “pipeline projects??? designed to identify promising students from minority groups as early as their middle- school years and encourage them to consider attending law school and entering the profession.

The conclave ended with an inspiring after dinner presentation by College of William and Mary law-school dean W. Taylor Reveley III documenting the historical role lawyers have played as “public citizens??? and encouraging attendees to develop ways in which to inculcate the same aspirations to serve the public and their communities in today’s students, lawyers and judges.

The occasion for the conclave, the fourth that has been held in Virginia during the past 15 years, was the spring meeting of the council of the ABA section in Charlottesville. Rakes encouraged the bar to work with the section in planning and conducting the conclave to coincide with the council meeting. The Virginia State Bar’s Section on Education of Lawyers, the only group of its kind at the state level in the country, partnered with the ABA Section on the conclave.

In attendance were 28 ABA council members and staff as well as 68 Virginia lawyers, judges and academics.

Updated: Jun 29, 2007