Professor Mary Lynch was recently selected to chair a subcommittee for the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) on training and promoting new lawyers. The subcommittee is part of NYSBA's newly formed Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession, led by Stephen Younger, the association's new president.
Professor Lynch's subcommittee will explore better ways to train new lawyers to meet client demands, as well as examine different methods to promote and compensate associates to improve quality of life factors.
As director of Albany Law School's Center for Excellence in Law Teaching (CELT), which launched this past fall, Professor Lynch has been collaborating with colleagues nationwide to develop more practical approaches to preparing students for careers in law.
"A law school can't provide - in three years - everything a student needs for a life-long career as a lawyer," she said. "But law school educators across the country agree that we can and should equip students with the knowledge and skills they need for early success, as well as the reflective and theoretical tools to learn from experience."
Professor Lynch has recently made presentations on legal education reform to faculty at several law schools. She participated in a panel on "Using Critical Perspectives to Inform Change" at the American Association of Law Schools national Conference on Clinical Legal Education in May, and she delivered a presentation to Indiana University Maurer School of Law in June.
The main thrust of her efforts, Professor Lynch explained, is "better preparing students for professional practice. How do we help them connect theory with real experiences, working with concepts alongside the changeable nature of real people?"
As a long-standing proponent for legal education reform, Professor Lynch is also the editor and a frequent contributor to the Best Practices for Legal Education blog. Her goals for this blog are to create a place where those interested in the future of legal education can freely exchange ideas, concerns and opinions.
She also hopes to continue developing the CELT Web site into a more useful Web-based source of information on current reforms in legal education and a clearinghouse of resources for use by the national legal education community.
Before launching CELT, Professor Lynch was co-director of the law school's Law Clinic & Justice Center. Prior to joining the Albany Law faculty in 1989, she worked as an assistant district attorney in New York County. A Bronx native, she earned her bachelor's degree from New York University and her law degree from Harvard Law School.