This is an era of change for legal education. At UST Law, we are not sitting on our heels, but we also are not scrambling after ideas that lack a connection to our core institutional identity. Relationships always have been central to who we are, and they will continue to be. In this issue of St. Thomas Lawyer, we highlight several dimensions of our response to a changing market, all premised on the importance of relationships:

Relationships within the law school: In “Creating Community,” Helen Clarke Ebert writes about how our students learn the importance of relationships in building the law school community, then leverage those skills into professional success.

Relationships across disciplines: In “Following the Rules is Just the Beginning,” Amanda Diedrich profiles our new graduate program in Organizational Ethics and Compliance. Created in partnership with UST’s Opus College of Business, our new LL.M. and M.S.L. degrees will prepare our students to help companies navigate the increasingly complex world that lies at the intersection of law, business and ethics.

Relationships across borders: In our faculty profile, Associate Professor Mariana Hernandez Crespo shares her research in the field of conflict resolution, particularly as it applies to investor-state disputes. Associate Professor Hernandez Crespo is helping lead our global initiative, reaching out to Latin American law schools to establish partnerships of scholarly collaboration and student exchanges. In March, UST Law co-sponsored a conference on ADR with the leading Costa Rican university, and we will welcome several Latin American students to campus this fall as we launch our LL.M. in U.S. Law degree.

Relationships across generations: In a difficult employment environment, we are utilizing the insight and energy offered by previous generations of UST Law students. In his profile of Adam Brown ’06, Hank Long ’14 explains how our alumni are reaching back to give recent graduates an extra boost in their job searches.

Relationships across the community: Our law school becomes stronger as it develops deeper relationships with the surrounding community. We have many partners outside the law school with whom we work to advance the common good. Readus Fletcher is a wonderful model of tireless advocacy on behalf of racial justice. We honored him this year with our Iustitia et Lex award, and he shares important observations with our community in “The Struggle for Economic Equity.”

Law schools are changing, and that’s a good thing. But we cannot lose sight of what’s made us distinct among American law schools. For UST Law, innovation begins from, and ends in, relationship.

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