Dean's Message

Chase Has a History of Leading into the Future

Many years ago I attended law school. I knew going in that in three years’ time I would be a lawyer, but honestly I had no idea how I’d get there. So here’s what my legal education looked like: On our first day of law school, the 1L students were provided a schedule of class lectures and a list of books. After a few introductory remarks and exhortations, we were advised to attend the lectures and to find a quiet place in the library to read the books.

Before I knew it, three years had passed, and we walked out as graduates, expecting that our semesters spent in that quiet place reading appellate decisions had somehow transformed us into lawyers ready to be useful to a client. Of course, we were duly surprised to discover we knew very little of use, and were for too long of little help to real clients confronting real problems.

I’m happy to tell you that, in my firm opinion, legal education today is better. Law schools everywhere are scrambling to add a significant measure of hands-on, practical training to their curriculum, striving to certify graduates as more “practice-ready” than the bookworms my legal training produced. No scrambling is needed at Chase. We have long been a leader in curricular innovation, having always understood the value and improved education that comes from a thoughtful blending of the doctrinal with the practical.

Chase is the Lawyer’s School, a place where people come who really want to learn to practice law, a place where our graduates are ready, on day one, to be useful to the clients, courts, and counsel who depend on them for their skills and experience.

Chase prepares today’s students for the practical aspects of lawyering in many ways. From our nationally accomplished trial teams, to our national-class externship program, to our nationally ranked business law program, to our innovative, “next-generation” skills training introduced through our Lunsford Academy, Chase remains a leader in experiential education. Our graduates are more than bookworms! They are ready to make a positive impact on the lives of clients and the prosperity of businesses as they leave our historic halls and find their places across the region and the globe. 

Jeffrey A. Standen
Dean and Professor of Law