Volume 1: Issue No. 1 • March  2011

Training for the Practice of Law at the Highest Levels: 
Reflections from UC Irvine




The Ideal Law School for the 21st Century
Erwin Chemerinsky

My involvement with the University of California, Irvine School of Law began with a phone call from Linda Cohen, a professor of economics at UCI and a former colleague of mine at the University of Southern California. She explained that the University of California, Irvine was creating a new law school and she was on the dean search committee. Over the years, I had heard of various efforts to create a law school there and recalled hearing a few months earlier that the proposal had been finally approved by the University of California’s Board of Regents.  Linda asked me for names of those I’d recommend for the deanship and I gave her a long list. Towards the end of the phone call, the conversation turned to whether I might be interested and I was sufficiently intrigued to say “maybe." READ MORE 

UCI Law: The First Half Century
Joseph F.C. DiMento

On Monday, August 24, 2009, sixty students took their first class at the University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI Law). While the gestation of any major academic institution is a long process, those students opening their books to a new subject called Statutory Analysis were realizing the culmination of a process of planning, programming, fighting, politicking, strategizing, and coordinating among almost innumerable people that spanned almost half a century. In this article I recount the history of UCI Law. READ MORE

A Law School for the 21st Century:
A Portrait of the Inaugural Class at the University of California, Irvine School of Law

Carroll Seron

Who are the lucky students who decided to be a part of the inaugural class at the University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI Law)? Why did these highly qualified individuals decide to take a chance at a new school? In a word, many decided to come to UCI Law because they were drawn to the opportunity of being in the first class at a law school that seeks to reshape the curriculum of legal education. READ MORE

Our Institutional Commitment to Teach about the Legal Profession
Ann Southworth and Catherine L. Fisk

During the autumn of 2008, the founding faculty at the University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI) undertook a challenge: to create a first-year curriculum that captures the latest wisdom about what knowledge, skills, and values law schools should impart to their students. READ MORE

Why and How to Study "Transnational" Law
Carrie Menkel-Meadow 

The modern law student, even at a public state law school, like the University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI), must engage in what we have termed “international legal analysis” (in our required first-year curriculum) in order to be an effective lawyer in the twenty-first century, regardless of where that student might ultimately practice law (or not!). READ MORE

Statutory Analysis: Using Criminal Law to Highlight Issues in Statutory Interpretation
Jennifer M. Chacón

In the fall semester of 2009, I taught a course called Statutory Analysis to half of the students in the inaugural first-year class at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law. I had never taught the course before. READ MORE

Writing on a Blank Slate:
Drafting a Blueprint for Experiential Learning at the University of California, Irvine School of Law

Carrie Hempel 

From its founding, the University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI Law or “the Law School”), articulated its most important mission as preparing students for the practice of law at the highest levels of the profession. Fulfilling this mission necessarily requires providing every UCI Law student ample opportunities to learn, as part of their formal legal training, what it means to be a lawyer by actually practicing law. READ MORE

The Academic Law Library in the 21st Century: Still the Heart of the Law School
Beatrice A. Tice 

Soon after accepting the challenge of creating the law library at the new University of California, Irvine School of Law (UC Irvine Law), I was asked my opinion of a proposal to delay construction of the library until 2010, one year after the opening of the School. To me this was an inconceivable notion and, joined by the Dean, I firmly objected. The law library is the heart of a law school, we argued. READ MORE

Collaborating to Deter Potential Public Enemies: Social Science and the Law
Elizabeth F. Loftus and Gilbert Geis 

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in 1935, during the throes of an economic depression that constantly has been revisited in discussions of the current financial meltdown, expressed in dramatic terms the need for lawyers to extend their embrace beyond parochial jurisprudential boundaries: “A lawyer who has not studied economics and sociology,” Brandeis wrote, “is very apt to become a public enemy.” READ MORE


What Would Langdell Have Thought?
UC Irvine’s New Law School and the Question of History

Christopher Tomlins 

In 1895, on the occasion of his retirement as Harvard Law School’s first dean, Christopher Columbus Langdell might have claimed—had he been an adept sloganeer—that he had overseen the creation of the first modern American law school, a law school for the twentieth century. READ MORE

Student Perspective

Orange County Human Rights Association: A New Law Student Group for a New Era
Denisha P. McKenzie and David Rodwin 

I was born and raised in South Los Angeles. Growing up, what was happening around me seemed normal: drugs and gangs on every street corner, impoverished families living week to week on welfare checks, decaying schools that did not provide their students with a decent shot at opportunity. READ MORE