Dean's Blog - Faculty Scholarship & Research

Dean's Blog - Faculty Scholarship & Research

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Available in both video and text format for your convenience

 Greetings.  My subject today is the research and published scholarship of our Hamline law faculty.

When I arrived at Hamline in 2008 after three decades as a practicing attorney, I have to admit that I wasn't familiar with the world of academic research and publishing.  If you're listening today and you're a student or prospective student, faculty scholarship may not even be on your screen either.

But I quickly discovered that Hamline had a law faculty dedicated to a culture of research and scholarship, and their productivity had increased markedly during the last decade.  That work has appeared in a wide variety of media and formats: law review articles, books and book chapters, professional association and bar magazines, web-based instructional materials, you name it.  In the first eight months of 2010 alone, the Hamline law faculty produced nearly 50 publications.  

Hamline also encourages scholarly engagement: not just writing and publishing, but actively presenting the research results in public settings ranging from a lecture for local attorneys downtown to an international symposium attracting lawyers and scholars across the globe.

Now, I can't list all that activity in a three-minute blogcast, but let me describe a few highlights during the past year:

Highlight No. 1: Celebrating the Uniform Trade Secret Act
Last April, the Hamline Law Review hosted a symposium celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.  That event brought trade secret scholars from around the country to the Hamline law campus to reflect on the history of the Act and its past and future impact on trade secret issues in the United States and internationally.
Highlight No. 2: Judicial Clerkships: A Practical Guide
Three Hamline legal writing instructors published Judicial Clerkships: A Practical Guide.  I congratulate the authors (Mary Dunnewold, Beth Honetschlager, and Brenda Tofte) for this unique book that explains everything a person needs to know about clerking for judges.  It is a law student's or a new clerk's one-stop-shop for information about these enriching jobs and their essential role in the American judicial system.

Highlight No. 3: Rethinking Negotiation Teaching: Vol. 2
Venturing Beyond the Classroom was published last month by DRI Press, an arm of Hamline's Dispute Resolution Institute, which is ranked second in the nation in alternative dispute resolution.  This book is the second publication to emerge from a multi-year, international project designed to critique contemporary negotiation pedagogy and develop a "second generation" negotiation training design.  

Highlight No. 4. Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Cindy Jesson is Director of our-nationally ranked Health Law Institute, and she has co-authored a book entitled Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Law with Stacey Tovino, a law professor at UNLV and a senior fellow at Hamline.  This text introduces students to the myriad of laws that govern the practice of complementary and alternative medicine, part of a growing and increasingly complicated subject of public health policy and regulation.

Highlight No. 5: Religion and the Global Economic Crisis
Hamline is the home of The Journal of Law and Religion, and last October the Journal explored the relationship between religion and the depressed economy during a symposium entitled "The Global Economic Crisis, Law and the Religious Traditions." It included a keynote by award-winning Italian economics professor Luigino Bruni and a debate on the legal and social responses of the various religious traditions to the economic crisis, to the regulating markets, and to economically vulnerable people.

These five highlights are just a glimpse at the high productivity of our legal scholars at Hamline.

Finally, a short word about why legal scholarship is important.  Obviously, it contributes to academic discourse and the understanding of the law, and helps shape legislation and policy.  But I believe that there is also a significant relationship between scholarly research and effective teaching.  Simply put, scholarship helps make law professors better teachers.  My colleagues understand that scholarship makes you a stronger expert, engages you with external communities, enhances reputation, builds self-confidence, fosters reflection and self-critique, and most importantly generates enthusiasm in your work—which shows in the classroom.

And that's why a vibrant culture of scholarship thrives at Hamline's law school.

That's all; see ya' next time.

Posted by Tom Wurdock at 10/04/2010 09:38:39 AM