Law School Transitions to the University’s Academic Calendar

The law school is moving forward with plans to synchronize its academic calendar with the rest of Stanford University. Last year, law school faculty voted to move to the university’s quarter system in 2009–10, but to use the intervening three years to try a modified version of the semester system. During this period, the school will clear away various other obstacles to taking classes outside the law school and put into place a variety of new programs for students whose professional careers will be advanced by courses and research in the larger university. Acknowledged as an obstacle to academic collaboration with the university’s departments and graduate schools, all of which are on the quarter system, the move is seen by Larry Kramer, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean, as a critical step for the law school’s development of interdisciplinary study.

“The legal profession today is not what it was even a generation ago,” said Kramer. “We must prepare our students for the multiplicity of roles that lawyers play. This means exposing them to ideas and concepts in the substantive areas they will work in, be it business or medicine or engineering or environmental science.”

The transition, starting in the 2006–07 academic year, will enable the law school to be more compatible with the university’s other schools and departments, affording students more opportunities to enrich their education with courses and research in other schools and departments of the university, while allowing the school to create unique interdisciplinary courses and programs.