Archive for "nicholas allard"
On Sunday, Brooklyn Law School held its Convocation ceremony. The annual event introduces the incoming class to faculty, staff and student leaders. Students first met with their student advisors at the school, then proceeded to the United States Eastern District Courthouse in Cadman Plaza for the ceremony and reception.
At the ceremony, Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid Henry Haverstick broke down the numbers of the Entering Class of 2012:
- There were over 4,500 applications for this year’s class.
- 361 students (318 full time, 43 part time) accepted a place in the incoming class.
- The students represent 148 different colleges and universities.
- The youngest – 20. The eldest – 50.
Among those present at the ceremony were Catherine Toner, ’15, whose interest in immigration law stems from her work at horse racing tracks, where there is a large immigrant population; John Willumsen-Friedman, ’15, whose parents used to “scream into the phone” to help their friends with various immigration issues, also leading to an interest in immigration law; and Alexandra Elbaum, ’15, who has been active in animal rights and “pets for prisoners” programs, leading to an interest in human rights and prison reform. All three expressed enthusiasm for the beginning of their legal studies, and gave positive reviews of the ceremony.
Incoming Dean Nicholas Allard’s keynote address to the new class was optimistic. Noting that the students’ “future success is the school’s priority,” Dean Allard stated his desire to continue Brooklyn Law’s pioneering traditions in order to keep it ahead of the curve in providing “outstanding professional training.” Noting that the legal field is undergoing “unprecedented change” and that the JD is likely to be most students’ final degree, Dean Allard concluded his address by expressing his belief in the importance of teaching law students critical thinking skills in preparation for future leadership roles.
At the reception, the incoming students spoke with upperclassmen and faculty members – sharing their experiences, talking about their hopes for law school, and asking for advice. Speaking to an incoming student, one upperclassman advised paying close attention to the legal writing class, stating, “it’s two credits, but the skill you learn impacts all of your other classes.”
The school plans to post the first-ever video of the Convocation ceremony on its website.
At the 2012 Annual Law Day address at the New York Court of Appeals, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced that starting next year, applicants to the New York Bar will be required to show that they have performed at least 50 hours of pro bono “law-related and uncompensated” service before being admitted.
In light of the fact that “those who are privileged to call ourselves lawyers have a special duty as the gatekeepers of justice to participate in preserving what we hold so dear,” Judge Lippman cited a need to instill and foster “a culture of service in the men and women who enter our profession as lawyers each year.” After all, “it is the legal profession’s commitment to equal justice and to the practice of law as a higher calling that has made service to others an intrinsic part of our legal culture.”
“We are facing a crisis in New York and around the country,” said Judge Lippman. “At a time when we are still adjusting to the realities of shrinking state coffers and reduced budgets, more and more people find themselves turning to the courts. The courts are the emergency rooms of our society – the most intractable social problems find their way to our doors in great and increasing numbers. And more and more of the people who come into our courts each day are forced to do so without a lawyer.”
While the legislature has taken note of the problem and has included substantial funding for civil legal services in the judiciary’s budget over the last two years, “we must do more to bridge the gap between this rising need and the services we provide… We need the continued individual efforts of lawyers doing their part.”
“Every year, about 10,000 prospective lawyers pass the New York Bar Exam,” noted Judge Lippman. “While 50 hours of law related pro bono work would amount to little more than a few days of service for each year of law school, the aggregate would be a half million hours each year that benefits New York and those in need of legal help.”
This will benefit both “the clients who are in dire need of legal assistance,” and prospective lawyers hoping to “build the valuable skills and acquire the hands-on experience so crucial to becoming a good lawyer.”
The requirement will not extend to lawyers already admitted to the state bar and living in New York. When applying for admission to the New York Bar, prospective lawyers will have to submit an affidavit describing the nature and dates and hours of their pro bono work, as well as the organization and individual lawyer who supervised them. Applicants will have the option to complete the requirement after graduation, or “even after taking the bar exam or after beginning a paid legal position in a law firm or elsewhere.”
Exactly what work will qualify as pro bono service, and to what extent it will have to be ‘uncompensated,’ has not yet been set out. In a recent e-mail, Interim Dean Gerber stated that Judge Lippman has appointed a panel that will determine the exact parameters of the requirement. The panel will consult with law schools, and during the process Brooklyn Law School may ask for comments from students and other members of the community. BLS currently qualifies the following work as public service for the Public Service Awards: internships at a government agency of nonprofit for pay, credit, or grant; volunteer work at a government agency or nonprofit; pro bono projects; and work through a school clinic at a government agency or nonprofit. Judicial internships for credit or pay and internships at a for-profit company or law firm for credit or pay do not qualify.
In a May 16th memo on the issue, the New York City Bar Association’s Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee expressed concern that the pro bono requirement will place an additional burden on new lawyers who are already struggling to make a living, and that it might lead to sub-par legal services for the poor provided by new graduates motivated only to fulfill their 50 hours. The Association urged that the guidelines be “structured to minimize the number of people in this group by using a broad enough definition of pro bono work, and by allowing new graduates to complete their service under the auspices of a law school program or during their summers.” It also urged that the guidelines include qualifying legal services even if they are compensated, as well as service done outside of New York.
Students with questions about the requirement are advised to e-mail Dean Allard.
Boyan Toshkoff, ’14, is an incoming Legal News and Events Editor of the BLS Advocate.
The BLS Advocate sat down with Nick Allard, the incoming dean of Brooklyn Law School, when he was in town on April 2nd, for a casual lunchtime Q&A at Panera Bread. We were fortunate that he brought along his lovely wife and high school sweetheart, Marla, who helped us get to know the real Nick. This is the final part of our 4-part interview by David A. Shapiro, ’12, with additional questions from Julie Adler, ’12. Parts 1-3 are available here.
NA: Marla has three superpowers. One is that she can get anybody to talk about anything at any time. The second superpower is if we go to a restaurant or any place else, there could be a huge line—she’ll walk right in. And the third superpower is she can return any item to any store at any time without a receipt, even if the store doesn’t sell the item.
DS: That’s a powerful skill.
NA: She can return a prom dress to a hardware store.
DS: Will you guys be at the rope-line at Cipriani? Will you guys be lobbying the big firms and stuff like that on behalf of students? Where can we spot you?
NA: I don’t know what kind of mythical idea you have there, but we will be lobbying—I will be lobbying on behalf of Brooklyn Law School period, full stop. In all the different arenas. Maybe that’s why the Board and the faculty thought it was a good idea to, you know, hiring a professional advocate, it’s not such a bad thing.
DS: What do you say to a student right now who is unemployed and very worried about getting a job?
NA: It’s very hard. Don’t give up. It’s not easy and we will give you all the possible support that we can. We can’t get the job for you, can’t guarantee a job, but we understand how tough it is, and we know finding a job is not about numbers, it is about individual people.
DS: What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
NA: Why choose? Look at me—you can tell I’ve got plenty! There are a lot that I really like. I like Queen!
DS: I have not been there yet.
JA: Me neither.
DS: How many times you been there?
NA: Just look at my waist-line. Tip: The Caprese salad is to die for, but there is enough Mozzarella for the defensive line of the Jets. And, uh…
MA: We tried Noodle Pudding.
NA: Noodle pudding I like.
MA: And the Happy Diner on Montague Street.
[cross-talk about Diner’s correct name]
NA: I love Happy Days. Happy Days is well-named.
JA: I always pass by it and I’ve never been inside it.
MA: You order there and boom, it’s there. It’s like magic, you order and in three seconds, it’s there.
NA: I like Happy Days and I like the St. Clare.
MA: Oh, have you been to St. Clare Diner on Smith Street?
MA: Can you tell we like it? We’ve been there three times recently—that is how much we’ve been there.
DS: Which one is that? Is that the 24-hour one? Oh I haven’t eaten there, either.
MA: Guys, if you get a dinner there, you can take home enough for three nights.
JA: Really? I have to go [there]!
DS: So you guys have been around here.
JA: Yeah, you guys know this place better than we do.
NA: You may forget this, but first of all, my son recently worked for a summer in the Brooklyn DA’s office. I was sworn in at Cadman Plaza for the New York Bar.
MA: Our son lived in Brooklyn.
NA: Park Slope.
MA: Now he’s in Manhattan, but he worked one summer at the DA’s office.
JA: Where is he now?
MA: He’s at Columbia [Law School].
NA: My mother was born in Brooklyn and my grandmother worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She was a navy nurse.
JA: That’s where we have our annual Barrister’s Ball. The law school prom.
MA: The Barrister’s Ball! How fun is that?
DS: Yeah, you are invited to that, as well.
MA: What exactly is the Barrister’s Ball? A formal dance?
DS: Yeah, it’s our prom. Law school prom.
MA: You have a law school prom! Aww!
DS: Yeah, I wore a tux and everything.
JA: You’re going to be there next year, so get excited.
MA: Is it a real big deal?
DS: Yeah, lots of people go.
MA: We are the world’s worst dancers, I will say that.
JA: That’s okay. Normally the deans don’t dance, so…
DS: You won’t be expected to dance. You could start a tradition.
NA: A man has to know his limitations.
MA: We’re really bad dancers.
DS: That’s all right—come up with a dance.
NA: I’m like the Priest Brother in Saturday Night Fever.
MA: We’re Chatty Cathy’s. But we’re bad dancers.
JA: Yeah you’ll just schmooze at the ball, that’s okay. They won’t make you dance.
DS: I think that’s all.
JA: I think we’re done!
MA: I think getting to know the students is so fun, I really do.
The BLS Advocate sat down with Nick Allard, the incoming dean of Brooklyn Law School, when he was in town on April 2nd, for a casual lunchtime Q&A at Panera Bread. We were fortunate that he brought along his lovely wife and high school sweetheart, Marla, who helped us get to know the real Nick. This is part 3 of our 4-part interview by David A. Shapiro, ’12, with additional questions from Julie Adler, ’12. Parts 1 and 2 are available here.
DS: Brooklyn Law School also has a very vibrant public interest community, foremost after CUNY in all of New York, and one of the top five probably in America.
DS: Recently this past year they actually cut the summer grants for public service—
DS: — from 5 to $3,000. That makes it very difficult, if not impossible for several students to do public interest work. Will you be able to restore the grant size to 5,000, or will you work to make sure that happens?
NA: I know that the faculty and administration (and I) are not only very committed to the importance of public interest work, they’re very sensitive to the impact that having to reduce those funds had, and so we’ll do everything we possibly can to provide adequate funding. Finding a way to support public interest law is very important to me personally – it’s something I’ve written about. You’re talking to someone who, given my family background and our resources growing up—we had to figure out how to pay for everything, our rent and everything else—so we know about making it on a student budget. People look at my resume and they see Princeton, Oxford, Yale, and they just assume I was born with a silver spoon in my ear. But that’s not the case. And so I appreciate the importance of people helping you along the way, but also appreciate in a practical way how you have to figure out how to pay for everything while you are getting your education and training. You know, Marla and I have been at this for a long time. I asked her for some cash the other day, and she said, “what are you talking about—I gave you three dollars yesterday!” [NA and MA laugh] So, you know she has a very tight fist on the family fisc. Fist on the fisc.
DS: So we just got, I think, a million dollar gift—was it for federal judicial internships for the summer?
NA: I don’t know. I know that came in, and that’s great! The more the better.
DS: And will you continue to seek out those grants and—
NA: Fundraising is one of the things I do, and I do think that President Wexler has been very successful at that and I intend to support her and help her and the law school turn over every stone to find every dime we can. And, you know, for example, helping you with your auction.
DS: I guess, well, that leads to two more questions about your relationship with President Wexler. So as far as we understand it, she’ll be stepping down in two years time — is that accurate? — and so you’ll become the Dean and there will be no more President position?
NA: Here’s what I’m focused on—I’m going to be the Dean of the law school and, you know, she is the President of the law school. And what the future holds, I leave that to the Board. And I want to tell you that Joan Wexler has had a remarkable impact on building this law school and an impact on the community. And she deserves a tremendous amount of credit over a long period of time—I mean it’s been twenty-five years that she’s been making a contribution. And at a time when she was really a pioneer. And so I give her a huge amount of credit. I deeply respect her and I look forward to learning from her and working with her.
DS: Do you understand that many students are skeptical of her leadership?
NA: Well I have a great amount of respect for her and for her leadership.
JA: Do you think the dual power structure is a good thing, and do you understand the need to have a Dean and a President filling two different roles?
NA: I actually see it as an advantage for me in ensuring a smooth transition and so I have no problem with it, and if I did I wouldn’t be here. I’m quite enthusiastic, and she has enormous strength and savvy which I don’t think she’s given enough credit for. And so I really think there are a lot of advantages. Most independent law schools have this President and Dean structure. And often it’s one person, but it doesn’t have to be one person. I think the fact that the Board is willing to have two people, you know, work on these things—actually, it’s pretty impressive that they’re going to, at least for the foreseeable future, have somebody attend to, you know, whatever the Presidential functions are specified in the bylaws, and then have the Dean who is freed up maybe from some of the day-to-day financial management, real estate work, and be able to devote attention to career services and education, curriculum, all of that–it’s great. I mean can you imagine just starting from ground zero and not having your predecessor there. It doesn’t mean we’re going to agree on everything.
DS: If you don’t agree on things, how do you foresee that taking place?
NA: He’s such a good reporter.
DS: Thank you.
NA: We’ll find out. You know, if we don’t agree on something, we’ll work it out—we’ll keep working until we reach agreement. You know it’s—I haven’t been married for 38 years without having some experience with give and take. Though one thing Marla and I agree on is the give and take isn’t even steven. About the only thing I think I learned and remember from studying moral philosophy at Oxford is this: When I am alone in the woods and Marla is not there, and I say something, I am still wrong.
DS: Do you plan on creating or reshaping a school identity?
NA: Well here’s what I plan: I plan on facilitating Brooklyn figuring out what it wants its future to be and then getting there. It’s not for me to come in and say “this is who you should be.” It doesn’t mean I don’t have ideas. In that regard, I mean I really do believe that Brooklyn Law School can aspire to being the 21st century—the model of a 21st century law school by combining critical scholarly thinking with the very best professional training. And what I mean by that—is that BLS can produce the leaders of the future who will have the capacity not only to be leaders today, but they can anticipate how law is changing, look around corners, look ahead, and find solutions to the problems no one has seen before. And that’s a wonderful aspiration for the law school and for me.
JA: Do you feel like you have a better grasp of this, given the fact that you don’t come from a background of academia? Because I feel like a lot of, you know people from your generation who went to law school around the same time you did—if you ask them for career advice, they’ll say, “what do you mean? Just get good grades and go through OCI and get into a big firm—that’s how you do it.” And I feel like you have such a deeper understanding of how things are right now; is that because you’re so immersed in practice everyday, as opposed to somebody who’s coming in from academia?
NA: I—my DNA makes me—distrust conventional wisdom. I mean, you can’t be the author of an article titled “Lobbying is an Honorable Profession” and be somebody who just goes along with mainstream thinking. And my own career—my own career has been very fulfilling and worthwhile, but it hasn’t been traditional. When I started out after two clerkships, I went with the Washington office of a New York firm. It was at a time where everybody with my kind of background was told if you’re serious, you have to go to the main office, not the branch office. I didn’t listen. I thought there was more opportunity at the branch office. Then I went into public service from a law firm. I mean, you know, working in the Senate. And then I went from the Senate working for another Senator, which is unconventional—you usually don’t change senators—and then only back to private practice but with time off from politics. I am just giving you personal examples. I’m always sort of—have a different view about career options. And then I think the capstone of that is having the sheer audacity to believe that I could go from private practice into academics. So, you know, I’m not someone whose followed the traditional career myself. So I‘m very skeptical of narrow thinking about careers and jobs. I hope that answers your question.
DS: So you mentioned the auction—so how do you foresee participating in the auction and with other pro-bono events and longer-term projects?
NA: Well I expect, look, first of all, we’re going to be fully engaged in not just education but also the life of the law school. Now you kind of teased me—I think it was you when I first met students—about mentioning Art Fleming, which really dates me by referring to Fleming instead of Trebek. [laughter] But we’ll certainly participate in Jeopardy. I mean all of that stuff—because we like those activities—and love it because that’s the way [Marla and I] are. And so we’ll be fully engaged. But certainly for the auction, you know, it could be—Marla and I could cater and serve a dinner at your place for you, so you have two of us as caterers and servers—these are examples, don’t hold me to these—or, you know, a weekend in Washington at our place with tickets to the Shakespeare theater in Washington, and, or, you know, lunch at the Palm in Washington with three legendary lobbyists: Tom Boggs and Senator Breaux and Senator Lott. You know, stuff like that, which I’ve done in the past. I’ve participated in auctions before. Another thing that might be of interest and maybe, in fact, some alumni who [have high school-aged children might] contribute is I can auction off three college application counseling sessions—because I’ve been very involved and I do this and I’ve written about “Navigating the College Admissions Process”—so three one-hour counseling sessions for a student. So David and Julie, you can buy that for a brother or sister…
DS: Don’t feel limited. Feel free to donate all of that.
NA: Well we might, we might do that. I mean I have to spend some time being your Dean. I mean, those are just some ideas. We understand the concept. It’s fun, it’s fun to do.
[We explain that the auction already happened this year.]
NA: Good because [Marla] was getting nervous about catering and me dropping dishes.
DS: Next year, next year.
The BLS Advocate sat down with Nick Allard, the incoming dean of Brooklyn Law School, when he was in town on April 2nd, for a casual lunchtime Q&A at Panera Bread. We were fortunate that he brought along his lovely wife and high school sweetheart, Marla, who helped us get to know the real Nick. This is part 2 of our 4-part interview by David A. Shapiro, ’12, with additional questions from Julie Adler, ’12. Part 1 is available here.
DS: In terms of your relationship with professors, there are some young professors rumored to be considering leaving, either because of family or for other reasons. Do you have ideas to keep them here or raise salaries or do anything like that? Have you heard the same rumors?
NA: So, the prospect [of departure] and the attractiveness of the faculty [to others] is a healthy worry to have. If that wasn’t a possibility or concern, then you’d have a big problem. And I don’t mean to be flip—[it is] just like [the way] I’m leaving my law firm, and my firm is completely embracing that. They’re not happy to see me leave, but they say that it reflects well on them, and that we’re going to continue to have a positive relationship. The fact that other law schools want the Brooklyn Law School faculty is an emblem of respect. But, now having said that, I will tell you as a law dean, two things that will keep me up at night and have already kept me up at night, [are:] one, how to retain and attract top legal scholars, and two, how to make career services work even better for the students. Those are the two—there’s many, many things, but those are the two big things [that might cause sleepless nights]—and so, I will tell you, and without getting into great, great details, that I have already had several conversations with leadership in the faculty and administration, about faculty retention and recruiting, and I’ve also, the very first meeting I’ve had since they made the offer—this morning, [for my] very first meeting I went over to career services, sat down with them [and discussed the future]—and so, this is not an idle, intellectual concept. I really mean it.
JA: Is there anything you can share about your meeting with career services?
NA: I think it was very positive. I really appreciate the challenges of this difficult time over the last three years. I think I made it clear to them by showing up that career services was a priority for me. And that I wanted to hear from them what they needed to succeed. I made it clear to them that I’d like to innovate. And I think that they were very receptive to innovation. And that includes opening up new opportunities beyond traditional ones for jobs. I can help personally with outreach. And I tend to be very hands-on in assisting, in giving additional help with that— I am very committed to helping individual students. And one of the things I liked to hear from them, which I heard from them loud and clear, and which I believe, is that career counseling and support is not about numbers—it’s about individuals, it has to be customized. And it’s quite personal. And it takes a lot of effort. So I really like that message that I heard from them. And that is something specific I can share with you: that they understand that career services is not about numbers, it’s about people.
DS: What do you feel about the lawsuit filed against Brooklyn and other law schools and especially as incoming dean, and how will you face that in the future?
NA: Um, I’m not going to comment on the litigation. I will note that in New York, the lawsuit was dismissed already [against New York Law School] — I’ll just note that, I’m not going to comment on it. What I embrace is the message that law schools need to provide effective career services, and also that you can’t just do what you’ve always done, because the nature of the legal profession and legal services is changing, and so law firms and public institutions and governments are going to be hiring law school graduates to do a different array of things than they’ve done in the past, and so how do you address that? Plus, there’s untold new opportunities. Frankly, I think that the future for young lawyers to use their legal muscle, which is their brain, is more interesting and more challenging. Because you can find more economical ways to do law research or document handling and the other kinds of tasks, and so there will be more of a premium for people who can do the three A’s—analysis, advice, and advocacy. Analysis, advice, and advocacy. Everybody thinks, oh you know, “we’ve never seen a tougher time,” and “everything is so bleak,” and for years, lawyers [have been] saying “oh, it’s no longer a profession.” And the work is more business and drudgework. Well I think that maybe because of the economics and new technology, we may be headed into an era where lawyers are the people that you rely on for using your brain, for critical thinking, for advice and counseling, and effective advocacy, and not just, you know, papering a deal, or, you know, doing document work – which, although incredibly important, [there are more satisfying aspects of practicing law that involve creativity and critical thinking.]
[At one point during our interview, Nick mentioned that there are five BLS graduates working with his law firm, Patton Boggs, and that he expects there will be more in the future and that his firm will continue to interview at BLS. We emailed him for clarification.]
NA: With respect to BLS representation at [Patton Boggs,] I would note that there are four grads and the incoming Dean at Patton Boggs, including two colleagues in D.C., the head of recruiting for our New Jersey Office and a colleague in our growing New York City office… Patton Boggs already interviews on campus at BLS and I expect that effort to expand and have already pursued that at the firm. Moreover, I have already begun to speak to colleagues at other firms about interviewing at BLS for their D.C. offices. I believe Washington practice is a good match for the skills and interests of BLS students and what the firms are looking for. I want to expand recruiting there. And this is interesting—I have heard from BLS grads working on Capitol Hill—they reached out to me on their own initiative—they want to get involved and help students find jobs in public service and I am following up with their offer immediately.
The BLS Advocate sat down with Nick Allard, the incoming dean of Brooklyn Law School, when he was in town on April 2nd, for a casual lunchtime Q&A at Panera Bread. We were fortunate that he brought along his lovely wife and high school sweetheart, Marla, who helped us get to know the real Nick. This is part 1 of our 4-part interview by David A. Shapiro, ’12, with additional questions from Julie Adler, ’12.
DS: We want to learn more about the switch from Patton Boggs to Academia. Like why? Why now?
NA: I don’t think it’s that much of a switch, [because over] my whole professional life, I’ve had a foot firmly planted in higher education, either as a teacher or a writer, as a counsel or advisor to presidents and chairmen of boards at other major universities, colleges and law schools. And I’ve got a terrific job where [I’ve] been working with the number one public policy practice in the galaxy—in the universe—and I came from Latham Watkins seven years ago in part to reinvigorate and help move the Patton Boggs public policy practice forward and we’ve succeeded and it’s been number one every year. And so, increasingly now, even though I work on exciting and challenging issues, I find that at the end of every day, what I do involving higher education and legal education, in particular, is what interests me the most—what gets me up on my toes. So I’m interested and for that reason I’ve been open for a little while to finding the right challenge in a full-time law school environment.
The second part of it—now this may seem hokey to you…[is that] I’m looking for an opportunity to give something back and make a contribution. And if I look around at the ways I might do that right now, it seems that [given] my skill set—that this is one way I can do that. And I’ve been encouraged by others that know me well, and also former law school deans and others [with experience]. It doesn’t seem that I was that off the mark as the Board here and the search committee and the fact that they were willing to take a leap on me [has demonstrated]—and the fact that they think it’s a good fit. And given the challenges facing legal education, my bag of experiences is a useful toolkit for what law schools need in the twenty-first century.
DS: And how did you find that search process to be? Was it very quick? Efficient? Do you wish you could change anything?
NA: The search process was exhilarating and exhausting.
DS: How so?
NA: It’s just—you know. You put everything on the line. To use sports metaphors, which I try to avoid, you leave everything on the field. You’ve got nothing left. And it’s not dissimilar—any search process, right—to what law students are going through. Because in a big way, you know, if you’re already a successful partner at a law firm, and you’re coasting along, you’re not really putting your heart on your sleeve. But just like a law student applying for a job, you’re putting your heart on your sleeve, and you’re either going to be accepted or rejected, so, you know, you’re putting it all out there. So it’s a—it’s a tough—it’s a tough process. It’s a very humbling process.
DS: What was the most fun you had during the process?
NA: Meeting you [laughs.]
DS: Ha, that’s the easy answer.
NA: It was. Meeting with students. Meeting everybody. It was just very energizing to meet everybody. I mean because I’m a people person and I liked engaging with everybody that I met. The students were terrific. The faculty was very impressive; the staff was unbelievably dedicated and committed. And this was not a one-way process. I’m really proud that I got picked. But I’m really happy to come here, because, you know, it’s not like I needed a job. I was really impressed and I’m very enthusiastic about the platform that’s here. I think it’s a great launching pad that’s been created for the law school to move into the next century. Further into the century—I don’t mean the next century, I mean this century.
JA: What makes you feel that way?
NA: I really think that so many of the things that are problems with legal education, that Brooklyn is already moving in the right direction or doing the right things. And I really [believe]—I was asked about this—and I said that I think that your traditions are the future, and that more law schools are going to be headed in that direction. Now [BLS is] not perfect and you can obviously do better, but you’re moving in the right direction. And when you look at what Brooklyn has a reputation for—which is producing students who are really prepared, they’re ready to make a contribution immediately, they’re practice-ready—that [answers] one of the criticisms of legal education [generally, that] when you graduate, you’re not ready to begin working. That’s not the reputation that Brooklyn has.