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Law’s Futures 2019 Agenda

The roundtable will begin Thursday evening, September 26, 2019, with a reception and dinner. Friday, September 27, 2019 will begin with continental breakfast, continue through a working lunch, and conclude by 3:30 pm.

To maximize opportunities for free and open dialogue and contributions by all participants, the Roundtable will consist of a mix of open, facilitated discussion and small group dialogue.  Unless agreed otherwise, all sessions will held under the Chatham House Rule. “When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.”  The Chatham House Rule is available here.

Detailed Agenda

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Dinner hosted by Northwestern Law at Lao Sze Chuan520 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

The group reservation begins at 6 pm.  We will be in the upstairs portion of the restaurant.

Service will be family style.  Vegetarian options will be included.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Northwestern Law, 375 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, Room RB339 (Third Floor, Rubloff Building)

[Additional details for each session will be added to this agenda shortly.]

8 am to 8:30 am:  Continental breakfast.

8:30 am [start on time] to 10 am:  Purpose and destination.  Starting with a succinct assessment of the current educational and professional landscape and its problems, what is our collective – and big, and audacious – vision of legal education’s future?

  • Where are we going, and how will we know whether we’re on the right track?  Whether we’ve arrived?
  • How can we de-construct a vision of the long-term future into actionable strategies, achievable milestones, and sustainable institutional forms?
  • In what respects should we focus on challenges associated with law, legal education, and the legal profession, and in what respects should we focus on challenges associated with higher education and broader society?

10 am to 10:30 am:  Break.

10:30 am to 12 noon:  Positive deviants.  How can be build on, link together, and leverage the productive improvements and innovations already under way?

  • Bring your best examples, illustrations, pilots, and practices.
  • What improvements and innovations are working today, in legal education, higher education, and in practice?  How can they be generalized and scaled?
  • How do we build prototypes by blending what is built from below with what is derived from conceiving of a vision of the future?

12 noon to 1 pm:  Working lunch in small groups.  Champions.  Who are our allies, sponsors, and supporters, and how do we build with them?

  • How do we bring more people into this conversation and support and enable them effectively?
  • How do we ensure that the project advances beyond the tenures of particular institutional leaders?

1 pm to 2:15 pm:  Resources and institutional design.  How do we shape people and programs into sustainable organizational and institutional forms?

  • What is the organizational and economic logic of this project?
  • In what respects does it represent change management from within, and in what respects does it represent change management from the outside?
  • Where will the money come from?  The organizational labor and inertia?  The accountability?

2:15 pm to 2:30 pm:  Break.

2:15 pm to 3:30 pm:  Next steps.  Actionable things and steps toward achieving the vision.

  • What do you want to continue to give?
  • What do you want to take away?
  • Possible actionable outcomes and deliverables include: (i) documenting usable and shareable takeaways for participants and others; (ii) establishing a leadership group to coordinate future work; (iii) establishing volunteer working groups around strategic priorities and initiatives; (iv) expanding the group and identifying partners and allies; (v) identifying communications protocols; (vi) mapping a timetable for future efforts.