Winter 2019 Gavel Gavel Winter 2019 - Page 23

is also committed to being a leader in the area of rural justice. We have successfully expanded placements for students with firms, courts, and government throughout the state. Continuing this expansion to our more rural communities requires both the investment in developing online course options, so students can maintain full-time status while completing field placements, and finding ways to help students cover the costs of living near their field placements. We spent the fall semester gathering information on the necessary hardware, software, and training we would need to offer class online. This spring, we are identifying classes we can move to an online platform without sacrificing educational quality. We fully expect to offer those classes starting next fall. On the faculty side, we lost three tenure- track faculty last year, and Professor Alleva will move on to her well-earned retirement this year. We have successfully supplemented our tenure-track faculty with others. This year we restored some funding for adjunct faculty members. It is not as much as we would like, but it did enable us to cover some curricular gaps and to make trial advocacy available to more students. The University allowed us to hire three faculty on short-term contracts to cover some critical courses in lawyering skills, trial practice, and bar passage. Next year we will add a new dean, and Kathryn Rand will return to full-time teaching from her year of developmental leave. One of the areas in which we feel particularly stretched right now is on the staff side. The ABA recently added a requirement that each student complete six credits of experiential learning. Most students satisfy this requirement through field placements (the rest of the world calls these externships). While we have had great success at finding placements for students, we currently only have one person to administer as many as 70 field placements during a semester. We expect to be able to get that person some help next fall. Notwithstanding these challenges, let me assure that the UND School of Law is well poised for another finding that we are in full compliance with the ABA standards. Despite our faculty losses, our core doctrinal faculty remains. We have carefully designed our recently revised curriculum to take people from new students to fledgling professionals. A true challenge for North Dakota over the coming decade will be justice in rural communities. We are prepared to lead in that area. With the great support we have received from SBAND, the courts, and the continuing commitment of the University and the State Board of Higher Education, the UND School of Law will be a part of making sure this state has the legal professionals it needs. Wick Corwin A uniquely qualified neutral: • • • • • Former trial judge and civil litigator 40 years of experience Persistent, empathetic and insightful Extensive ADR training Specializing in the mediation and arbitration of civil disputes “Superb job . . . a great service to the parties.” Steve Rufer - Fergus Falls, MN “Fine work.” Tom Traynor - Devils Lake, ND 701-541-0965 wick@corwinmediation.com WINTER 2019 23