CUNY School of Law Strategic Plan April 17, 2008 DRAFT Introduction Our motto at the City University of New

York School of Law at Queens College (CUNY School of Law) is “Law in the Service of Human Needs.” Everything we do is grounded in our progressive values and our distinctive mission: to graduate outstanding public interest and public service attorneys and to provide access to the legal profession for underserved groups. These two aspects of our social justice mission inform and mutually reinforce one another. We engage in public interest work when we enhance access to the legal profession for those who have been historically excluded. We also enhance access to the legal profession when we engage in public interest and public service work in underserved communities. From the founding of the Law School, we formed an academic community centered on our mission. It is not simply our mission that makes us distinctive in the legal academy; our pedagogy is also unique. Sophisticated, student-centered teaching is our highest priority. Our curriculum goes far beyond the traditional Langdellian model of rule-bound doctrine and legal analysis divorced from social context and practice. CUNY Law thoroughly infuses the conventional curriculum with instruction in practical skills, professional identity and values, social context, and critical perspectives. In 2007, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching issued a national assessment of legal education, “Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law,” in which it lauded CUNY for our integration of theory and practice throughout our curriculum. As we look ahead, we reflect on the extraordinary accomplishments we want to take forward with us: consistent recognition as having one of the top ten clinical programs in the nation, an innovative curriculum that prepares students for excellence in practice, our graduates’ work in public interest and public service, our extraordinary diversity, and a devotion to social justice unparalleled in the legal academy. Strategic planning gives us an opportunity to reflect systematically on how we might remain on the cutting edge of the legal academy in the future. Two issues that have challenged our past are clearing. Because of the inadequacy of our facility, we have long had broad consensus that we must obtain a new building in a more strategic location. The New York State 2009 budget, which includes $50 million to begin to build a new Law School facility, is an expression of strong legislative support for CUNY School of Law. Because of our students performance on the New York State Bar Exam historically, we have long had agreement that we must enhance our students’ preparation for the Bar and increase the consistency of their scores on it. With a promising trend in the last two year’s July results, we aim to score at or above the State average on a consistent basis.

This Strategic Plan goes well beyond these two issues to advance the substantive core of the community’s social justice agenda in the coming five years. Our plan to do so involves strengthening our commitment to public interest law, enhancing access to the legal profession, nurturing a sustainable community, continuing to develop our innovative legal pedagogy, fostering engaged scholarship, and expanding our influence. Although extensive, this list is not exhaustive and we will balance carefully the variety of demands created by these goals. Strengthening Our Commitment to Public Interest Law Our founding mission commits us to educating students who are devoted to serving underserved communities and creating a more just world. The core of the mission, graduating outstanding public interest and public service attorneys, informs what we teach, how we teach, our administrative services, and who teaches and works at the Law School. Our commitment influences our public service, our scholarship, the work of our clinics, and our engagement with communities of justice in New York and around the world. To strengthen our commitment to public interest law, we will: ü Continue to focus on how the way we teach influences our students’ understanding of the meaning of justice, the ethical role of the lawyer in achieving justice, the need to take responsibility for one’s actions, and the centrality of collaboration to building a community of justice. ü Continue to create and enhance innovative, professional developmental programs across all three years that engage students in public interest work to inspire and prepare them for social justice careers, to build in them the competencies and professional values needed for public interest lawyering in the 21st Century, and to deepen our connection to communities of justice. ü Continue to graduate record numbers of students who are employed in and prepared for public interest/public service practice by admitting a diverse, talented, and committed student body and nurturing their social justice commitments during law school. Enhance recruitment to become known as the premier law school for all students committed to social justice. ü Continue to enhance the focus of our career planning services in the public interest sector and provide students with more fellowship and internship opportunities in that sector and work creatively and collaboratively with students, employers, and communities in need to develop more meaningful post-graduate public interest opportunities. ü Integrate our graduates into the life of the Law School and continue to develop the Community Legal Resource Network (CLRN) as a resource for solo and small firm practitioners.

ü Continue to attract, hire, and support faculty with experience in public interest practice and a commitment to social justice and to educating lawyers for practice on behalf of underserved communities. Support faculty engagement in advocacy and public interest practice. ü Develop Centers in public interest advocacy areas to enable students and faculty to contribute to and engage in the public interest issues of the times through research, litigation, and other advocacy work and expand the influence of our community’s social justice advocacy and scholarship by strengthening the Law School’s position as a center for public interest. Enhancing Access to the Legal Profession Our founding mission commits us to graduating outstanding public interest and public service attorneys and also to diversifying the legal profession and by providing meaningful access to it for those from traditionally excluded or underserved communities. We seek to enhance diversity in many ways, including racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability and different-ability, age, and social-economic background diversity. We have a strong and ongoing history of supporting those from immigrant communities. We are also mindful of the striking dearth of African-American and Puerto Rican students in law schools, and the need to make special efforts to recruit and support them. We aspire to maintain and enhance a diverse student body, staff, and faculty. To enhance access to the legal profession, we will: ü Solidify the leadership position in pre-law school programs that we have established through the Pipeline to Justice Program at CUNY School of Law, increase faculty and staff involvement in the Pipeline, and disseminate information about the Pipeline to other law schools and the broader community. ü Improve our recruitment and enrollment of diverse, public interest students, and create a welcoming environment in which diverse students are academically supported. ü Explore new options for enhanced programmatic flexibility for a broader range of student access to the Law School. ü Increase attention to and support of a full range of student services, including the amount of need-based scholarships, financial aid, debt relief, childcare, and career services support. ü Through the Center for Diversity in the Legal Profession, work with other organizations, both within and external to the University, to prepare individuals from communities traditionally underserved by the legal profession to attend and successfully complete law school and to pass the Bar Exam.

ü Strengthen our relations with colleges that have diverse student bodies to encourage and prepare more of their graduates to attend CUNY School of Law. ü Continue our commitment to academic and Bar Exam success for all students through programmatic initiatives, including the Summer Law Institute, the Irene Diamond Skills Center, and a range of Bar Exam support programs. ü Recruit and support diverse faculty members. ü Recruit and support diverse staff members and provide them with an environment that maximizes their professional development opportunities. Nurturing a Sustainable Community CUNY School of Law is not merely an institution; it is a community that includes students, alumni, staff, faculty, and administration. We share ideas with one another and rally around a common endeavor. New students, faculty, and staff contribute to our mission: graduating outstanding public interest attorneys and creating access to the profession for historically underserved groups. We aspire to provide a sustainable, welcoming space for new staff, faculty, and students. We aspire to respect the traditions and wisdom of the past and allow fresh ideas to help shape our future. Understanding that all of us are here because of our devotion to the mission, we aspire to foster a sense of collective effort in everything we do. Our larger community includes political and social leaders, Clinic clients, communitybased organizations, public interest legal advocates, and public servants throughout New York City, the State, nation, and world. We seek to better integrate with each of these populations, sharing with them our passion for our mission and serving the common good. We seek to forge stronger bonds with one another, connecting better with other members of our community of justice both internally and externally. To nurture a sustainable community, we will: ü Nurture a sense of interdependence, mutual respect, and trust among members of the CUNY School of Law community. ü Enhance participation of the faculty, administration, staff, students, alums, and other members of the broader community in the life of the Law School. ü Support a broad range of student groups, student government, and student activities that enrich the community. ü Create more opportunities for faculty, administration, staff, and students to share experiences and engage in cross-role discussions, enhance the student-focused service of

Law School departments, increase opportunities for reflection on what it means to be a humane legal practitioner, and support a range of contemplative practices at the Law School. ü Continue to reflect upon and improve our governance process, seeking to increase both inclusiveness and efficiency. ü Increase transparency, accountability, and communication between faculty and students, administration and faculty, students and staff, and other constituencies of our community. ü Take special care to nurture dialogue and understanding on difficult issues and use conflict as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of one another. ü Locate a new building site and design and build a new, environmentally sound Law School facility with particular attention to strengthening the sustainable community within and around it. Continue to Develop Our Innovative Legal Pedagogy We are a teaching institution, known for our cutting-edge pedagogy focused on student participation, critical reflection, and professional growth. We will continue to create important new norms of engaged, transformative pedagogy to ensure that our diverse students are supported in their learning and our graduates are prepared for the challenges and evolving contexts of public interest practice in every sphere, from the local to the global. Building on our leadership role in integrating doctrinal analysis, professional skills, and professional identity and values, we will continue to develop innovative pedagogy that is grounded in experiential, role-based, and collaborative learning, reflective practice and writing across the curriculum, and is informed by the theoretical insights from adult learning theory, critical pedagogy, meta-cognition, and expert-novice and socialization models of professional development. To continue to develop our innovative legal pedagogy, we will: ü Continue to emphasize educating diverse lawyers for an evolving profession in public interest law by developing new collaborations within and across the faculty to promote integrative approaches to teaching and learning doctrinal knowledge, lawyering skills, cross-cultural competence, and professional habits and values. ü Commit the resources necessary to support a thriving culture of engaged pedagogy. ü Continue to innovate in teaching academic skills in ways that respond to a diversity of learning approaches and academic needs, and that include the use of cutting-edge technology in the classroom. Commit to review and enhance our student-focused curriculum on an on-going basis.

ü Increase experiential, transformative learning opportunities across the three years of the curriculum, increase the availability of public interest internships, and create opportunities for students to work for, interact with, and learn from client groups, community based organizations, NGOs, and the public interest bar. ü Promote continued scholarly investigation and application of models and theories of educating for the legal profession by increasing institutional support for curricular development in learning theory, approaches from other professional educational models, interdisciplinary studies, and the technology of practice. ü Build upon and extend the influence of the models and theories of pedagogy developed and practiced at the Law School by exploring the possibility of a post-J.D. fellowship program for the professional development of clinical and lawyering teachers. Fostering Engaged Scholarship The teachers/scholars at CUNY School of Law have long been leaders in developing innovative legal pedagogy. At the same time, we have been leading voices on issues of social justice and racial equality. We are proud of our rich tradition of producing scholarship that is engaged with justice, legal pedagogy, and practice. We are also proud of engaging students in the production of cutting-edge scholarship on these issues. We will continue to build these core strengths in new and dynamic ways as we recommit to engaged scholarship that affects educational and social transformation on a local, national, and international scale. To foster engaged scholarship, we will: ü Build on existing faculty expertise to enhance the Law School’s practice and reputation as an intellectual epicenter for critical race theory, feminist and lesbian jurisprudence, critical outsider perspectives, clinical pedagogy, legal pedagogy, sociological and other inter-disciplinary scholarship, and social justice work. ü Work collaboratively with faculty, students, clients, and community-based organizations to articulate theories of social justice and to analyze the changing nature of community need and public interest law in the 21st Century and in an increasingly globalized context. ü Increase opportunities for students to engage in scholarship and scholarly exchange. ü Partner with CUNY colleges, other colleges and law schools, community-based organizations, and NGOs to deepen the connection between law and social justice and develop an interdisciplinary vision and strategy for how “Law in the Service of Human Needs” can generate social change. ü Commit the resources necessary to support a thriving culture of engaged scholarship that pushes the boundaries of the law and the legal academy in service of social justice.

ü Develop a state-of-the art library in a new Law School building. ü Disseminate our ideas broadly, particularly by embracing the opportunities that new technologies create for scholarly exchange. Expanding Our Influence Our mission, which is well-integrated throughout our program, places the CUNY School of Law in a unique position in the legal academy. We seek to broaden awareness of the Law School as having a successful, distinctive program of legal education and as playing a significant role—through its faculty, clinics, and graduates—in providing access to justice to individuals and communities. The Law School has received significant recognition for its programs from a wide range of sources, including the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, legal educators, the bench, and the bar. Our profile must encompass not only our success in preparing students across the broad range of skills and values necessary for competent practice, but also our emphasis on developing the critical perspectives necessary for creative practice aimed at social change. We must insure the Law School faculty is identified not only as a rich resource for pedagogical innovation, but also as a community of engaged scholars, committed to advancing theories of justice and exploring new paradigms for creating social change. We seek to secure our reputation not just to advance the Law School, but also to influence the academy, the bench, and the bar to diversify the profession and to use their status and privilege to create a more just and humane society. To expand our influence, we will: ü Develop and disseminate information through professional print materials and through digital technology to recruit students, educate employers about the preparedness of our graduates, and inform a broader audience about our mission and achievements. ü Develop a strong, positive media presence related not only to the School’s success, but also to our graduates’ accomplishments and achievements, our faculty’s scholarship and expertise, and the School’s contributions (through the clinics, CLRN, alumni, and faculty service) to the City and State. ü Strengthen our relationships with the many constituencies that comprise our community of justice—our graduates, the University, the City, the State, the bench, the public interest and government service bars, community organizations and NGOs, foundations, and public interest-minded private practitioners—to expand our resources, build support for our goals, and extend our influence. ü Support faculty and student presence outside the Law School, in their role as ambassadors of our mission and exemplars of our success, at conferences, in service activities, and in participation in local, national, and international organizations.

Conclusion Our mission, values, and pioneering, lawyering-to-clinic curriculum, provide a framework for us to sustain and launch key initiatives in the coming five years. These initiatives will enhance the academic program, raise the Law School’s reputation, reinvigorate and leverage the faculty’s scholarship and service, and advance our mission. In 2007 and 2008, we established the Pipeline to Justice Program and the Center for Diversity in the Legal Profession. Each of these is a new and bold expression of our diversity mission. To remain on the cutting-edge of providing access to the legal profession in the future, we will strengthen our connections to diverse undergraduate institutions and enhance programs that prepare students for graduate level work in law. In 2008, we launched an Incubator program at CLRN to nurture recent CUNY Law graduates in developing small firm and solo legal practices to serve underserved communities. The Incubator is a tangible expression of our public interest mission. To remain on the cutting-edge of public interest legal education in the future, we will enhance our curricular offerings that relate primarily to public interest law and develop Centers around a range of public interest advocacy issues. In 2007, we enjoyed praise from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for our innovative, integrated pedagogy that blends clinical skills with doctrinal education. Teaching remains the core of the work that we do. To remain on the cuttingedge of legal pedagogy in the future, we will continue to enhance our curriculum and explore the development of a fellowship program in lawyering and clinical teaching. CUNY School of Law is now an institution that conceptualizes our work as extending not only beyond the four walls of our building but also beyond the three years of our curriculum. Before law school, we actively develop the talent pool of those seeking to become lawyers. We prepare applicants themselves for the rigors of graduate work in law. After law school, we nurture our alumni well beyond graduation through a range of programs in CLRN. During the three years of study, we provide our matriculated students with opportunities to work closely with the public interest community seeking to advance social justice outside the law school. It is our ability to show students the legal solutions to real world problems that inspires them. Working for others also allows our students to practice “Law in the Service of Human Needs” throughout their graduate studies. In the future, guided by these core principles, we will develop the CUNY School of Law in this model, as a comprehensive institution transforming the profession and the world through a profound commitment to justice. Our Strategic Plan points the way.