If You Build It, They Will Come

I have long believed that alumni will financially support law school programs that are designed to prepare students for practice. I also believe that such programs will give schools an advantage over peer institutions in recruiting students.
The experience at Washington & Lee supports my theses. After making a commitment to transform its third year into an experiential education format beginning this coming Fall, W&L received a $2 million gift from an alum to help support this initiative. The school also reports that “75 second-year students opted in to become the first class to go through the program. This is well more than half of the rising 3L class and exceeds our expected enrollment by roughly thirty students.”
To top off the good news, the school announced that it has hired experiential education guru (my words) Jim Moliterno, formerly of William and Mary, as W&L’s Vincent Bradford Professor of Law.
We should all wish for the success of the program at W&L and similarly bold moves at other schools. If they can demonstrate the educational superiority of their curriculums others will follow. And it won’t hurt to show strong support from alumni and potential students.

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