I joined the faculty as Dean of the Hofstra Law School just a year ago. This past year has been a most exciting one for the law school. The faculty undertook a major revision of the first year curriculum. This year’s incoming class will be the first to have Transnational Law as a required first year course. We are only the second law school in the country to undertake this bold step. We have also adopted an LL.M program in Family Law and have on our drawing board an LL.M. program in Real Estate and Development Law. The new courses in these areas will result in an expanded curriculum for you in your years at Hofstra. We have also been fortunate this last year in attracting outstanding new faculty to Hofstra in the areas of corporations, commercial law, and environmental law. And we will be adding new faculty this coming year who will enrich your offerings during your second and third years of law school. We have also expanded our skills training programs and externship opportunities schools so that you can gain substantial practical experience during law school. I believe that we have the finest skills training program in the country. With the addition of two new clinical programs, in Securities Arbitration and Community Development, you are in for an exciting and challenging learning experience.
When I completed the first year of law school, more years ago then I wish to admit to, I said that if anyone paid me a million dollars to relive the first year of law school I would decline. On the other hand, if anyone offered me a million dollars to sell the experience, I would refuse that offer too. Law school will challenge you and cause you to think and work harder than you ever have in the past. You will meet faculty at Hofstra who have national and international reputations as outstanding scholars and thinkers in their respective fields. They demand much of themselves, and they will demand much of you. They live and breathe the law and bring great enthusiasm to their task of sharing their perspective with you in the classroom. The late Professor Grant Gilmore, one of the nation’s great scholars, once said that teaching was either “brainwashing or garbage can stuffing,” and he would engage in neither enterprise. Gilmore was right. Teaching is sharing one’s thought processes with students. Each professor brings a different dimension and approach to the classroom. You will all share your thinking - and in the process become thinking partners with our highly accomplished faculty. I envy you.
As for myself, I hope to work with the entire Law School community to expand the faculty and bring innovation to an already rich curriculum. One can be certain that the practice of law a decade from now will not be the same as it is today. The technological and information revolution atop of globalization assure that massive changes are in the making. However, the skills of critical analytical thinking that you will learn here at Hofstra will be as current decades hence as they are today. The world will always seek out those capable of clearheaded thinking.
So welcome to the profession of law. For centuries on end American lawyers have shaped public policy and affected the lives of myriads of people around the globe. You are among those who will do so for the 21st century.
Aaron D. Twerski
Dean & Professor of Law