If you were not among the more than 300 alumni and friends of the Law School attending the eighth annual Alumni Recognition Luncheon April 12 in downtown Columbus, you missed a great event.In addition to presentations to this year’s Alumni Recognition Award recipients, we talked a lot about the great things happening at Capital University Law School. So, if you could not make the luncheon this year, I hope you will mark your calendars for next year: April 11, 2014.For now, let me reiterate 35 of the positive things we discussed during the luncheon:Great thing number one: In February, Capital launched a military call center in cooperation with the Ohio Military Veterans Legal Assistance Project. Through this pilot project, Central Ohio’s low-income veterans and active duty military personnel receive referral information and brief legal counseling for issues that include divorce, dissolution, employment, consumer and housing issues. Some of these cases will even be handled by the Law School’s own legal clinic, giving Capital students a chance to apply their classroom knowledge to real world situations.Number two: You know about Ohio’s oil and gas boom related to shale drilling. At Capital, we know this will result in tremendous opportunities for lawyers, ranging from contracts and leases to property disputes and estate planning. Our faculty approved a new course and concentration this year that focuses on issues related to oil and gas law, which will prepare our students to take advantage of these opportunities. This is just one of the ways Capital is working to distinguish itself in this competitive market for future law school students.Number three: Our faculty is focusing more attention than ever on integrating real-world, applied skills and knowledge into their classes. This year, a faculty committee identified 10 skills area that are critical for future lawyers. These skills included legal writing and research, legal analysis, business and transactional knowledge, personal leadership and technology skills. During our research, we were pleased to discover the degree to which our faculty already incorporates these skills into their classes. In addition, many faculty members have adjusted their courses as a result of this research, ensuring our students are learning to apply these critical skills.Number four: Capital University Law School continues to be one of Ohio’s premier law schools for bar passage. Over the past five years, 90 percent of Capital students have passed the bar on the first attempt. That places Capital second among Ohio’s nine law schools in this critical benchmark of the caliber of a legal education. We also have been above the state average for every test in the past seven years. Number five: In 2012, we created the Capital Law Connect program, which links Capital alumni with current students who are interested in gaining insight into the legal profession. This program fosters networking and mentorship between our alumni and students. These relationships are incredibly valuable to our students, and they are not a major time commitment on your part. So, if you have not yet signed up for this program, I encourage you to do so today by going to our website or contacting our Office of Professional Development. Numbers six through twenty-five: The Law School continues to celebrate our legacy of providing opportunity and access to a legal education. In 2012, our graduating class included the largest number of African American students in its history. Out of our 171 graduates in 2012, 19 were students of color.Numbers twenty-six to thirty-three: Student satisfaction with Capital University Law School is strong. In the 2012 Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LESSE) our students rated us higher than our peer institutions in numerous areas, including academic advising, personal counseling, job search assistance, financial aid counseling and computer technology. The survey also indicated that our students spend more time than those at other schools preparing for classes and clinical courses and writing papers for their classes. Our students also say they receive more of the kinds of support they need to succeed academically than is reported by students from other schools.Number thirty-four: In the LSSSE survey, more than 80 percent of surveyed students said they would give the Law School an “Excellent” or “Good” rating. And number thirty-five: The survey also showed more than 80 percent of our students said they would absolutely select Capital for law school if they had to make the decision again.I could go on and on, as there are hundreds of other great things happening at Capital. But I’d like to hear what you think are the best things about Capital University Law School. Send me an e-mail with your thoughts!
Rich SimpsonDean and Professor of Law
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