Dear Students and Alumni:
It is hard to believe it has been a full year since the coronavirus pandemic has upended our lives. We have, however, reason to be cautiously optimistic: Cases are trending downward, more of the population is getting vaccinated, and life seems to be getting at least a little more normal. But many are still suffering economically and physically, not just from the pandemic but from harsh winter storms or other challenges. Wherever you are and whatever your circumstances, I hope you are staying safe and (relatively) sane.
At the very least, I am happy to report that things have been going well for Concord Law School. Among other things:
- Post-Accreditation Enrollment Increases—Since Concord became one of the first fully online law schools to be granted full accreditation by the State Bar of California in August 2020, we have seen a marked increase in interest from prospective students. Our last two enrollment cycles have been among our largest in at least a decade, and the upcoming 1L start looks to be comparable. I am delighted that so many are choosing to pursue an affordable and accessible online legal education through Concord.
- Faculty Hiring—Because our enrollments are growing, our faculty needs to grow as well. To that end, we expect to hire two new full-time faculty members within the next six months. One will focus on legal writing and the other on 1L and other doctrinal courses.
- Director of Bar Support—To continue our efforts to help as many students as possible pass the California Bar Exam—and pass it the first time—we recently brought on a part-time director of bar support to help provide individualized and group coaching for the February 2021 California Bar Exam. This is an addition to the required fourth-year capstone course, our subsidy of Kaplan Bar Review’s commercial bar prep program, and our faculty and alumni mentoring programs. We hope and expect in the coming months to be able to make this a full-time, permanent position.
- Academic Support—We don’t intend to wait until students are in their final year of law school to provide additional coaching. Starting with the May 2021 term, we will be conducting a series of biweekly academic support seminars, focused primarily on second-term 1L students looking to improve their performance beyond their first term. The seminars will cover topics like outlining, IRACing, and time management. In addition, now that our 1Ls no longer need to take and pass California’s First Year Law Students Exam (FYLSE), we will be “repurposing” an adjunct faculty member who was providing feedback on student essays in our FYLSE prep programs, to provide one-on-one feedback and mentoring to 1L students. Depending on student utilization levels, we will determine whether and how to deploy additional academic support resources for upper-division students.
- Term Conversion Project—Our conversion from 24-week terms to more traditional 16-week terms, which will be complete for all students by January 2022, is proceeding as planned. I am already in discussions with other programs about the possibility of articulation or transfer credit arrangements and hope to be able to report positive news on this front in the coming months.
- Distinguished Speaker Webinar—Our previous webinar on March 25, 2021, focused on“The Power of Black Women in the Law: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives.” The featured speakers were Concord adjunct professor Shekera Algarin, who serves as deputy executive director of the mayor’s action plan for neighborhood safety and office of high crimes in New York City; Alaysia Black Hackett, a Concord EJD alumna who recently was appointed as deputy chief diversity officer for the governor’s office for the commonwealth of Virginia; and Valencia Macon, the head of the U.S. merger and acquisitions legal group at Siemens Energy. View the archived webinar here.
Thanks and all the best,
Dean and Vice President
Concord Law School at Purdue University Global