Goal Two: Enhancing Scholarly Contributions

strategic plan goal two
Enhance the College of Law’s scholarly contributions to the advancement of law and public policy.
 
As a professional school in a public research institution, the College of Law is devoted to disciplinary and interdisciplinary research that is influential in its reach and promotes the examination and development of law and policies that serve the needs of the legal profession and society. In continuing to grow our scholarly reputation, the college is committed to being an innovator in the production and promotion of legal scholarship that reaches academic and professional audiences, policymakers and the community at large via traditional and emerging media.
 
Just as legal education and law practice are evolving, so is legal scholarship. We will build on existing incentives and support structures to extend the reach and impact of faculty scholarship, in all its forms. Areas of review will include but are not limited to:

  • Continued development of faculty research colloquia, exchange programs with other law schools and the college’s internal workshop program;
  • Enhanced research mentoring and continued growth of internal development programs devoted to junior faculty members;
  • Course scheduling that will allow time for intense research and teaching related projects; and
  • Increased summer research support.


The College of Law faculty comprises talented and diverse teachers and scholars, many of whom are part of a recent five-year hiring surge in which junior and mid-level professors replaced senior faculty founders. Areas of review include but are not be limited to:

  • Broadening faculty’s engagement with online research databases, such as the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), which are gaining cachet as research venues for showcasing and auditioning works in progress;
  • Enhancing systematic coordination with the college’s communications department for promotion of faculty publications, policy work and areas of expertise;
  • Using the capacity of the new building and our Atlanta location to foster greater awareness of faculty scholarship through the strategic use of hosted regional and national conferences at the College of Law;
  • Increasing, where possible, the level of support for faculty presentations at influential conferences that will facilitate networking with leaders in the field and provide a forum for one’s scholarly work; and  
  • Enhancing the visibility and influence of faculty scholarship in a wide variety of recognized outlets, from traditional journals to emerging electronic media.
The College of Law has a long tradition of employing its scholarly expertise to inform the practice of law, policy development, law reform and public service. We will expand our efforts to leverage our scholarly output in service of legal professionals, policymakers and the public. We will strengthen our ties with governmental and non-governmental organizations and support the use of faculty, students and law school programs to aid these organizations in their effort to use the law to advance the public good. We will continue to value scholarship that is cited and reflected in the work of these organizations.
An important component to building and retaining a strong scholarly faculty, while also developing senior faculty leadership and enhancing our school’s reputation, is the establishment of endowed professorships. As a relatively young law school, the College of Law has done well in raising funds to support the establishment of seven endowed professorships, five of which are endowed at the chair level. But this number is still inadequate in comparison to that of many law schools with whom we compete for faculty. As part of the university’s upcoming comprehensive campaign, the college will seek to raise funds for at least three new endowed faculty professorships.
Historically, law faculty research has predominantly focused on law rather than interdisciplinary collaboration. The College of Law is fortunate to have several members of the faculty who have pursued interdisciplinary scholarship and have developed productive collaborations with non-law scholars, aided in part by the university’s support of such activity through its Second Century Initiative and Strategic Plan. We will further support and encourage the efforts of the broader faculty to participate in this type of scholarship. One benefit of interdisciplinary research is that it brings the potential for external funding of research activities. Progress in this area has been slower to gain traction but is equally critical because such funding could provide essential support for an expanded range of research activities. For example, faculty may conduct research through a contract or grant, provide legal expertise on a grant developed outside the College of Law or write a book with the support of a fellowship or grant. We will work with the university to provide the education and staff support necessary to encourage and enable faculty members to seek out external sources to support research and scholarship.

Goal One: Prepare Students
for Success

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Goal Three: Serve
as a Dynamic Hub

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Goal Four: Increase Global Awareness for Graduates

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Goal Five: Adapt and Lead
in Changing Markets

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