Mar 22, 2021
Gordon Smith has just been appointed to a second five-year term as dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. Two years after becoming dean in 2016, he told an audience of law school advisors, “I want BYU to be known as, if not the most innovative law school in the country, then one of the most innovative law schools in the country.”
As we recounted when Smith was first on LawNext in 2019, he has worked hard to make that vision a reality, launching the nationally recognized LawX legal design lab, developing courses to teach non-traditional skills such as leadership, storytelling, and business ethics, launching clinical programs around unique skills such as entrepreneurship and conflict resolution; and spearheading development of the Law and Corpus Linguistics project.
But much has changed in law and legal education since 2019, due predominantly to the pandemic and its impact on how law is taught, how lawyers are licensed, and how legal services are delivered. So as Smith begins his second term as dean, we check in on how the pandemic has impacted the school’s teaching of innovation and entrepreneurship, and ask Smith about his plans for the next five years and his thoughts on the future of legal education and licensing.
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