Strange as it may sound, those of us who teach law envy you who are about to enter law school. It is more than a desire to recapture our youth. Studying law, and the first year of law school in particular, is likely to be the most exciting intellectual challenge of your life. Yes, you will have to work hard and endure some uncertainty and pressure. But your perseverance will be enormously rewarded. In the nine months it takes to complete the first year of law school, you will become a budding professional who truly thinks like a lawyer. You may not quite realize until later how much learning has been packed into this short time period, but I am confident you will look back on it as an exhilarating experience.
Hofstra is a great place to study law. The quality of your legal education will depend largely on the talents, abilities, experience and enthusiasm of your professors. Hofstra’s faculty is a remarkable group. Their range of experience includes clerkships for Supreme Court Justices, practice with law firms of all sizes and types, pioneering public interest work and outstanding government service. As scholars, many are recognized as leaders in their fields, both within the United States and internationally. But first and foremost, we have built a faculty with a shared love of teaching; the Hofstra faculty is composed of dedicated and innovative educators, in the classroom and beyond. Whether it is creating a new course, using new technology to enhance an existing course, or mentoring an individual student, we are committed to providing the best legal education possible.
Our curriculum is extensive and always changing to meet the needs of new lawyers. As the world changes (think of globalization or the sudden emergence of the Internet), and business and legal practices evolve (consider the rise of arbitration and mediation in legal practice), our curriculum changes with them. At Hofstra, though, we do more than help you learn “the law” and develop the critical reasoning skills needed by any successful lawyer; the heart of our approach is to help you master the practical skills that lawyers employ on a daily basis: writing, trial and advocacy skills, client counseling and effective negotiation. The combination of traditional classroom courses, simulations and clinical courses has led Hofstra to be nationally recognized as a school whose graduates are ready to “hit the ground running.”
As you consider the start of your legal education and career, I hope you share my enthusiasm for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I am confident that we will make your legal education, and career, as exciting and rewarding as can be.
Alan N. Resnick
Interim Dean & Benjamin Weintraub Distinguished Professor of Bankruptcy Law