Bench & Bar

MAR 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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| MARCH/APRIL 2018 44 I n January, Colin Crawford began his tenure as the Brandeis School of Law's 24 th dean. He's a new face at the University of Lou- isville, but he's no stranger to the demands of a university administrator — or to Ken- tucky, where his father's family has roots. His father was born and partially raised in Corydon, in Henderson County. Crawford's own career, however, has taken him far from western Kentucky, landing him at assorted spots across the country and around the world, from New York to San Diego, with many stops in between. He brings a distinct international perspective to Brandeis Law; he speaks three languages and has lectured and taught in several coun- tries, including Brazil, China, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Japan, Panama and Spain. A graduate of Har vard Law School, Crawford is a self-described academic entrepreneur with scholarly interests in environmental, urban development and land-use issues. He comes to Brandeis Law from Tulane University, where he was a law professor COLUMNS and director of an international develop- ment center for undergraduate and graduate students. Here, he shares a bit about what he admires about the Brandeis School of Law and his hopes for the school in the changing land- scape of legal education. WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO BRANDEIS? Kentucky was attractive to me, first, for family reasons. My father was from west- ern Kentucky. Although I spent most of my childhood school years in Denver, where I was raised, we visited a little and he talked constantly of Kentucky and its appeals. I knew this is a special place. Also, I find the city of Louisville beautiful and livable. en the Brandeis name is very appealing. I think Louis Brandeis, especially in these polarized political times, is an interesting figure because he doesn't neatly fit in to our current conservative or liberal categories. He was a nuanced and complicated person and thinker. e thought of being associ- ated with a school that tries to channel that inheritance of intellectual energy and moral integrity was a powerful draw for me. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS SOME OF THE LAW SCHOOL'S STRENGTHS? My immediate predecessors, Deans Susan Duncan and Lars Smith, left the school in a strong position. eir steady leadership speaks well for the school's collegiality and commitment to a strong future. Given the challenges of the last few years, this was no small feat. But they put the school on a steady path financially and in terms of stu- dent body growth. I'm very grateful for that. My interactions with staff and with faculty —not just at Brandeis but within the uni- versity—have been positive. is is a place where our stakeholders are committed to the school's success. Since my arrival I've also been impressed by the strong facul- ty-student bond. I've taught at several other law schools, and I have never experienced a place where the faculty are as dedicated to giving highly personal, one-on-one atten- tion to students. Louisville has a strong, friendly and close- knit business and legal community. at helps build a strong law school. Of course, this is a mutual relationship. Brandeis is also distinctive because of the strong commit- ment to working in the community. is is such an important value in a law school and I think it is especially important in a state school. My best teaching experiences have been at state schools. I'm pleased and proud to be able to carry on that mission here. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS OPPOR- TUNITIES FOR GROWTH AT THE BRANDEIS SCHOOL OF LAW? I think this school could be more out- ward-looking, more international in its outlook. Commerce today is global. You can be based in a commercial city like Louisville, and you can be working with other coun- tries. We can deliver student experiences that prepare for that. I also think there are some faculty strengths that may not be so evident to the outside world. I'd like to try to package those to emphasize what we have to offer. ese strengths include business and commercial law, intellectual property law and commu- nity development-related subjects. It is important to emphasize our strengths and specialties in today's legal market so as to give students a sense of what training a stu- dent will earn at Brandeis. Finally, I'd like to help promote a robust intellectual environment on campus. At many schools, students have little connec- tion to the scholarly part of legal life. But I believe law students benefit from under- standing that ideas power the law and result in legal change and that we're in a profes- sion that promotes debate about principles and values and ideas, and how to make them concrete to change people's lives. At this time of intense political and social polar- ization, the function of law schools as fora for debate and discussion has never been more important. Of course, everything I say here is con- ditioned upon having the support of the alumni, faculty and students. e school does not bear my name. It bears the name of one of our most celebrated Supreme Court justices and of the city where he was born and raised. My goal is therefore to serve the Brandeis legacy in the 21st century, and to help ensure that the law school remains an integral part of this dynamic, appealing city. See Page 22 for Convention Details THE WAIT IS OVER!

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