Reflections on a Recent Survey of Topics that Deserve More Attention in the Legal Academy

Yesterday Leiter’s Law School Reports posted the results of a survey of over 200 of its readers asking “which areas of law deserve more attention in the legal academy?” The top 10 subjects were:

    1. Consumer Law
    2. Energy Law/Natural Resources Law/Water Law
    3. Employment Law
    4. Alternative Dispute Resolution
    5. Immigration Law
    6. Family Law
    7. Insurance Law
    8. Comparative Law
    9. Elder Law
    10. Wills, Trusts & Estates

What was immediately apparent to me as I read through this list was how many of these areas are already strengths at St. John’s Law School.

My co-blogger, Jeff Sovern, is one of the leading consumer law scholars in the country. He has co-authored a casebook in the field, written numerous articles on a wide variety of consumer law topics, and founded the Consumer Law & Policy Blog.

St. John’s is also home to the Center for Labor and Employment Law. Founded and directed by David Gregory, the center is a forum where students, practitioners and scholars come together to explore the practice and theory of labor and employment law.  

Paul Kirgis founded the Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution, which he runs with Elayne Greenberg. The Carey Center is a leader in the growing field of alternative dispute resolution, offering courses, clinics, and experiential learning to students, hosting scholarly programs, and providing professional training and other forms of outreach to the community. Paul is one of the leading scholars in the field (you can find some of his publications here) and is a regular contributor to Indisputably, the ADR Prof Blog.

On the clinical front, we have the Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic. Under the direction of Ann Goldweber and Gina Calabrese, the clinic students represent low-income, elderly Queens residents in cases involving predatory lending, contractor fraud, debt collection, and other consumer matters.

Befitting our location in one of the most diverse communities in the country, St. John’s actually has three immigration clinics: the Bread & Life Immigration Clinic, the Immigrant Social Justice Clinic, and the Refugee and Immigrant Rights Litigation Clinic.

These areas may get short shrift elsewhere, but they have been a focal point at St. John’s for years.


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