We have identified the following central elements in our mission as a law school:
We are, above all, committed to excellence in teaching. Our students expect and deserve it. We have, as a faculty, determined that this is the most important way that we can serve our students, and ultimately, our great responsibilities. Our commitment includes both the determination to assure a high quality of teaching in all areas and the recognition that we must address the particular needs of our students and the profession in these times. We must be careful to instill in our students an understanding of the professionalism and high ethical standards that lawyers must achieve. We also must assure that they leave the school with a firm grounding in the essential skills they will need to practice law.
We believe that engaging in scholarship is important to our achieving excellence as teachers and to meeting our responsibilities to the legal profession and the rule of law. We define scholarship for this purpose as creative intellectual endeavor intended to develop and disseminate new knowledge or new insights into existing knowledge. We recognize as legitimate scholarship not only traditional law review articles, but also other writings and law reform efforts that involve a comparable degree of research, analysis and original thought.
3. Service to the Bench, the Bar and the Broader Community
We also recognize a responsibility to serve the greater community, especially the bench and bar. As legal professionals, faculty and administrators are a source of expertise and independent judgment for individuals, the courts, professional organizations and governmental entities. Where appropriate, we strive to serve the local, national and international communities through a wide range of volunteer leadership and consultation.
4. Providing Access to Legal Education
One of the most important roles we have played in our region since the school was founded in 1921 has been to provide access to legal education for working people and others who otherwise would not be able to enter the legal profession. We have accomplished, and continue to accomplish, this aspect of our mission through the operation of our evening program. More recently, we have recognized the need and pursued the effort to increase opportunities for legal education among members of minority groups and others who have historically been underrepresented in the legal profession.