Law students are no strangers to an onslaught of invites to special student groups, panels and presentations. But after painstakingly laying out the next 26,000 hours of their lives (including transportation time), even the most sleepless of gunners may be tempted to auto-delete the latest listserv email.
This year, NYU School of Law introduced a new method to relay current news to their students—they carved time. Vice Dean Barry Friedman worked with the school to ensure that no classes are scheduled on Wednesdays from 12:25 to 1:50 p.m. During this midday time block, students are most likely still on campus and free to gain supplementary knowledge on legal topics that go beyond those offered in the classroom, and breaking news presented by major players in the field.
The panels range from media-drenched issues such as “The Debate over Health Care Reform” and “Is What’s Good for GM Good for America” to law school-specific conversations such as “How to Pick your Substantial Writing Topic.” Each panel is specifically created with the interests of students in mind, and the directors collaborate with students, professors and community members to decide on the subject matter. Additionally, The Forum reserves specific dates empty, in anticipation of breaking news.
So far, The Forum has proven to be an enormous success. The combination of accessibility and relevance has drawn 200-plus NYU law students to each of the discussions thus far. “We saw that so many students didn’t have the time to attend events,” said Sara Lewin, one of the creators of the program. “With the experts that we’ve been able to get to speak, the students now have the time to learn about these important topics.”
The Forum’s popularity (no doubt somewhat due to the pocket-change-for-New-York $5 lunches offered) makes the program only available to those enrolled in the law school. However, prospective students and interested parties can watch it all go down later on (surprise) YouTube.
Posted by Megan Cassidy
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