A Message from the Dean

At NYU School of Law, we are charting our course with intention—not just to keep pace, but to set it.

Over the course of the 2015-16 academic year, the Law School engaged in a strategic planning process that sought input from the entire NYU Law community.  I am proud to share the product of that process with you.  Our new strategic plan maps three critically important goals that will guide the Law School over the next five to seven years.  One builds upon NYU Law’s reputation and track record as an institution on the cutting edge of legal education; one looks to increase the diversity and inclusiveness not only of the Law School community but also of the legal profession at large; and one reflects NYU Law’s foremost commitment to our students by redoubling our efforts to ensure that they all can thrive in law school and in their chosen careers.  

You can learn more about each of these goals and the steps we will take to achieve them in our strategic plan.  I hope you’ll take the time to read it.  I would also like to share a few highlights of the work we contemplate—and in some cases have already begun—to meet our objectives:

  • Building on NYU Law’s position as a pioneer on issues of civil rights, diversity, and inclusion, and responding to the continuing urgent need to confront these issues as they arise in the world, we will establish two new centers at the Law School.  The Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, led by faculty director Kenji Yoshino, will seek to advance interdisciplinary legal scholarship on these topics; to support the Law School community as it strives to live up to those values; and to share expertise through targeted work with institutions in the public and private sectors.  The Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law, which will launch in the spring with Professor Anthony Thompson as its faculty director, will provide opportunities for students, scholars, practitioners, and community members to examine and exchange ideas related to race and ethnicity, justice and inequality, law and leadership through lectures, symposia, and scholarship.
  • To ensure that the cost of a legal education does not deter students from enrolling at NYU Law and does not prevent them from pursuing their chosen careers after graduating, we will explore options for increasing affordability, including by diversifying our sources of revenue to allow us to limit the growth in tuition, increase financial aid, and reinvest in our loan repayment program.
  • Mindful of the myriad benefits of our location in the heart of New York City, we will expand access to externships and internships, to ensure that students can gain the benefits of learning in real-world settings, and can expand their professional networks and connections to our alumni. 
  • In keeping with NYU Law’s long history of innovation, we will launch the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship—the first of its kind in American legal education.  The Grunin Center will foster the development of a robust community of legal practitioners—including, but not limited to, our own students—working on issues of law and social entrepreneurship.  Led by faculty directors Helen Scott and Deborah Burand, it will house our existing business-oriented clinics (International Business Transactions and Business Law Transactions), as well as new curricular offerings that will inculcate students in the values of social entrepreneurship.

  • Because we seek to graduate well-rounded counselors who can work across law, business, government, and related fields—as well as across national borders—we will explore new interdisciplinary programs and offer students expanded training in areas such as finance, leadership, and technology.  In recognition of the particular importance of technology in legal education and the profession today, we are establishing a new vice deanship for technology-enhanced education that will support the adoption of new pedagogical approaches aided by technology. 

These initiatives represent only a sliver of the activity that our ambitious plan will generate.  In coming months and years, we will monitor closely our progress on these goals.  We as a community are committed to using this plan as an important yardstick against which we measure our success—the roadmap to the school’s future. 

I hope you will be as inspired and excited by our new strategic plan as I am, and will partner with us to bring it to fruition.  I invite you to stay engaged, and to return to our site to learn more.

—Dean Trevor Morrison
Eric M. and Laurie B. Roth Professor of Law