May 10, 2017 – The 2017 Consortium for Innovative Legal Education Annual Meeting was held on May 4 and 5 in Boston, Massachusetts and was attended by approximately two dozen thought leaders, including Chairmen, Presidents and Deans, faculty and administrators from the member law schools. Sullivan Hill Shareholder, Jeff Lewin, attended as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of California Western.
CILE consists of four independent ABA and AALS accredited geographically diverse American law schools: California Western School of Law in San Diego, South Texas College of Law in Houston, Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul and New England Law in Boston. This partnership provides opportunities for educational programs on a national and international basis.
A major focus of the 2017 Annual Meeting was how CILE member schools can cooperate to develop effective programs to assist law students prepare for and pass bar exams in an era of collaborative learning in which individual hard work and responsibility have been de-emphasized and bar passage rates have declined. Among the programs developed by member schools are pre-1L diagnostic testing and counseling, cooperation between doctrinal and student support faculty to enable students to begin to prepare for bar exams before graduation, and reward systems to motivate reluctant students to participate in special post-graduation bar preparation courses.
Another topic of discussion was how to make its highly regarded international summer programs (London, England; Galway, Ireland; Valetta, Malta; Prague, Czechoslovakia; Santiago, Chile), at least one of which is taught by a sitting Justice of the United States Supreme Court, available to law students at law schools which do not offer summer programs.
Lewin, who has served on the CWSL Board for approximately 20 years and as Chair for three years, said that the 2017 CILE Annual Meeting was characterized by thoughtful and vigorous discussion and exchange of ideas. Each year the location of the CILE Annual Meeting rotates and in 2018 it will be held in San Diego.