Association of American Law Schools|
2003 Annual Meeting
Thursday, January 2 - Sunday, January 5, 2003
Legal Education Engages the World
The astonishing progress of the movement toward globalization has important implications for law and law teaching. The plenary session at the 2003 Annual Meeting will examine these implications along several dimensions.
First, what should American law students be learning about other legal systems, and about amalgams of national systems, such as the European Union? How will we qualify ourselves to teach this information? What will be the impact on our students of the remarkable changes in legal education now taking place in many parts of the world?
Second, how should and does the expanding influence of international organizations affect law teachers and lawyers? Will our students be ready to practice before the international forums that have been gaining increased importance? Will they be ready for practice before the WTO, the World Bank, the IMF, the international courts, and a multitude of other transnational organizations? Will they understand the regulatory and taxation issues raised by their clients' multinational activities? What is our role in preparing them for this work?
Third, how will globalization affect human rights? Will it mean greater liberation or greater oppression for the Third World? Will the economic shifts we are now seeing encourage or hinder the development of democratic institutions? Will ethnic and gender discrimination be heightened or ameliorated? How will people's everyday lives change as the world economy becomes increasingly transparent and as trade barriers diminish? What role will lawyers have in contributing to greater human dignity and happiness in this changing environment?
Dale A. Whitman, AALS President