We would appreciate the opportunity to
work with you to help your client.
still a relatively traditional profession.
Have we brought them along in terms of
some of the formalities of the profession?
We are absolutely a work in progress,
but the reality is we always will be. And if
you’re not — if you’ve stopped looking at
your curriculum, and your teaching, and
your skills opportunities, and that notion
of a professionalizing process, and whether you are inculcating leadership — then
you’re not doing your job.
You’ve mentioned the third year a few
times. In some media reports discussing the problems with legal education,
there’s a simple solution that’s often
floated: kill the third year. This obviously doesn’t seem like something you’re
No, it’s not. There are a couple different
possibilities when they’re talking about
that third year. One of them is a com-
pressed curriculum, or an “accelerated
curriculum,” as Gonzaga refers to it. That
takes three years of credits and moves
them into two years of time. My view of
that is it’s a challenge. The students will
have the material coming at them faster,
more furious, more credits, with fewer op-
portunities to work in the summer. I un-
derstand the attraction of that option. But
it’s almost as expensive because you’re
still paying for all of the credits. For a
lot of students, it’s probably not the right
choice. The time — immersion over three
years — is really beneficial.
I believe in three years of legal education. But I do think we have an obligation
to make it more coherent, comprehensive, and integrated, so that at the end
of the day I can sit across from someone
and justify the third year — to say that it’s
critically important and, by the way, we’re
doing something different in that year
from the second and the first.
This is a historic time. With Dean Korn
being the first woman dean at Gonzaga,
the three deanships of law schools in
the state of Washington are now held by
And a majority of women on the Washington Supreme Court.
Right. So has the glass ceiling been
shattered? Are there no problems left?
Oh, I wish I could say that.
Where do you think we are at with the
status of women in the legal profession?
There are really interesting conversations going on. The glass ceiling has not
been shattered, particularly in the most
traditional practice of law. We still see, in
firm settings, while there are more women coming in, the retention issues are
there — and I think that’s true for women
and for persons of color. The advancement opportunities are not the same.
Certainly the compensation isn’t equal.
And positions of power are not held at
the rate that you would expect, given the
number of years that we’ve been equal in
terms of percentages of women and men
coming into and graduating from law
school. It’s getting better, but there is a
lot of work left to be done.
It is symbolically incredibly important