Sunday, August 26, 2007

The harmonious university

Louisville Cardinals

The Cardinal Eye

Dispatches from the University of Louisville and its law school

An occasional MoneyLaw series

Having shared official prose that I have written as the dean at Louisville Law, I figured I might as well make it a regular habit. MoneyLaw will host items I write in my official capacity as dean, as well as occasional pieces that draw upon my experiences at the University of Louisville. After all, if MoneyLaw's readership can put up with posts such as Comfortably Metrotextual, Crossing the River, and Common Wealth, in some cases weeks after these items' initial publication in our local bar association's monthly newspaper, then surely it will tolerate posts written specifically for an online audience.

It is a true joy to work at a law school that is backed by an entire university community. This claim embraces the entirety of the university experience, and not simply the fragments that are most readily imagined as partners for interdisciplinary work affecting law. Certain things -- athletics, performing arts, campus life -- enhance professional education in ways that law professors too often tend to forget.

Faculty galaTonight's case in point: I just returned from the University of Louisville School of Music's fifteenth annual faculty gala, which coincides with the school's 75th anniversary. Our music faculty staged a spectacular concert. They covered an immense range of musical instruments and idioms. I left full of Cardinal pride, thoroughly pleased that the talented members of the School of Music let me share their campus.

The MoneyLaw point is simple: Why would any division of a university, especially one whose "product" is as esoteric as that of a law school, ever dream of isolating itself from its fellow colleges and departments? The School of Music, Cardinal Athletics, and the UofL's Department of Theatre Arts all do something that law schools rarely if ever do: They perform. Their work touches the broader public, in some cases so deeply that artistic and athletic performances are what members of our Commonwealth understand to be the University of Louisville.

Louisville Law library studentsTo be sure, our university does many, many things, and I will be the first to emphasize the vital importance of activities not seen by the public at large. Much of the teaching, research, and service that we do takes place in quiet settings. Many of the books and articles produced by our professors are directed at specialized audiences. There does come a time, however, when the academy must make its case directly to the public. Law school outreach takes many forms: conferences, moot courts, public service by students. Don't overlook the law library. The imperative to connect with the public drives what I consider Louisville Law's most important innovation in a generation, and perhaps even deeper in its history: the opening of the University of Louisville Law Clinic.

Finally, this much bears remembering. Rarely if ever can a single department or college approach the accomplishments of an entire university. Superlative performances -- in the arts, in athletics, and in every academic endeavor -- lift all of us. The School of Music's triumph this evening casts a warm glow over the law school and every other corner here at the University of Louisville. Quite simply, and quite humbly, the Cardinal Nation thanks you.

Louisville BrassPostscript: So that MoneyLaw's readers might have a taste of the concert I enjoyed, I have coded a musical selection drawn from the University of Louisville School of Music's storehouse of recordings. I hope you enjoy trumpeter Michael Tunnell of the Louisville Brass as much as I enjoyed Professor Tunnell and his colleagues at our faculty gala.


Blogger Beth said...

I think we need to invite all UofL alumni to start reading MoneyLaw.

8/27/2007 8:52 AM  
Blogger Nancy Rapoport said...

Great to have you back in blogging, Jim!

8/27/2007 6:48 PM  

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