Vanderbilt University Law School

Beginning in the mid-2000s, Vanderbilt Law School embarked upon a program of curricular reform to help students develop professional competence and prepare for the realities of practice. Moreover, to enhance the foundational educational experience of our students, we have also enlarged the tenure-track faculty and reduced the size of the first-year sections to increase faculty-student interaction, allow for more frequent written feedback, and enable and expand faculty mentorship from the outset of our students’ professional training. In addition, we have added a small-group, academic experience during orientation to better prepare students for their first-year courses and have modernized the 1L curriculum to introduce students to regulatory agencies, statutes, and regulations. For second and third year students, we have expanded basic and advanced offerings in the areas of dispute resolution, law and business, environmental law, intellectual property law, and other fields; have increased clinical and externship programs to allow more upper-level students to have real-world experience with clients and in the workplace; and have implemented specialized writing, drafting, and transactional courses for graduating students. We are not finished. Beginning in 2012-13, Vanderbilt will add additional tenure-track faculty and offer a 1L elective in the spring semester to energize and engage students in the areas that attracted them to law school and the legal profession.