The State Bar Association of North Dakota Fall 2014 Gavel Magazine - Page 12

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE— BRICK BY BRICK hear our distinguished speakers. Centennial Drive opened back up for truck traffic before the mortar hardened. The crane on the construction site boasted a UND flag that flew straight out in the brisk breeze. And the focal point was the Construction Engineers’ semi parked near the law school and proudly bearing the slogan, “We’re laying down the law. Brick by brick.” K AT H R Y N R . L . R A N D Dean, University of North Dakota School of Law On a sunny October afternoon during UND Homecoming, the School of Law held a ceremonial bricklaying ‒ our version of a groundbreaking ceremony. Wearing green UND Law hard hats, officials from state and federal government, the state and federal courts, the state legislature, the State Bar Association of North Dakota, and the State Board of Higher Education participated in building a brick wall near our construction site. The symbolism was moving ‒ we were thanking the many, many people who are helping us build the School of Law, brick by brick. “It’s a glorious time for North Dakota,” said Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley. “We have a law school, and it’s North Dakota’s law school, and we couldn’t be more proud.” That set the tone for the celebration of the start of construction of the major addition to the law school building. Work on the site stopped during the ceremony ‒ but only as long as absolutely necessary to 12 THE GAVEL Four out of five North Dakota Supreme Court justices and 39 out of 47 North Dakota district court judges are UND law graduates, pointed out Chief Justice Gerald W. VandeWalle in his remarks. “This law school teaches and trains most of the lawyers and judges in this State and, perhaps a selfserving statement on my part, does so very well.” Chief Justice VandeWalle went on to emphasize the importance of the School of Law’s role in North Dakota’s legal profession, and in serving the people of our state. “So this building was, is and will be an integral part of the legal education of the future lawyers of North Dakota. I mince no words when I say this law school is essential not only to the legal profession of the State but to the most basic functions of our government as well. [The graduates of this law school] are the lawyers who provide advice and counsel on some of the most significant and personal issues which face our citizens. I want those law students to live among us while pursuing their legal education in order to come to understand the ethos of our North Dakota populace. But we also want those lawyers to be good lawyers and this building, while not alone assuring the quality of its inhabitants, will surely help maintain that excellent quality.” I could not have said it better. The School of Law is committed to values-centered legal education ‒ this is the fundamental promise I made as dean ‒ and those values include the ideals of our profession and the character of our state. A UND educated attorney is a North Dakota educated attorney, one who will contribute to the integrity of the legal profession in North Dakota and our nation. And while our building by itself won’t instill the values essential to ethical and effective law practice in our students, our building will serve as a constant reminder of the importance of what we do inside and out ‒ we are shaping the future of our profession, the future of our state, and the future of our world. The law school building project will bring dramatically increased and improved educational space, including classrooms and courtrooms tailored to skills instruction, updated and expanded student study and work space, a state-of-the-art law library focused on service rather than shelving, and collaborative commons areas. The design of the building reflects the values-centered approach to legal education at UND School of Law ‒ where faculty and staff are invested in the success of our students and graduates, where ethical practice is a given rather than a goal, where practical skills are as important as theory and philosophy, where a strong work ethic is expected, and where service to community is a welcome obligation. The future of UND School of Law is the future of our profession. You can be a part of helping us build not only a law school, but a legacy. We need your help. With rapidly increasing construction costs in the state, we need private donations to help us complete the full scope of our building project. As you already know, the full scope of the building project is critical to our status as an accredited law school, critical to the quality of our educational program, and critical to the future of the School of Law and North Dakota’s legal profession. The students educated in the new and improved law school building will