OFF THE RECORD - Seton Hall Law

Students' Legal Writing Has the Power to Shape History

Posted by Alice Ristroph on 4/13/17 10:25 AM

In 1992 the New Jersey Supreme Court decided State in re M.T.S. (609 A.2d 1266 (N.J. 1992)), a case about the meaning of the term “force” in New Jersey’s sexual assault statute. As soon as the court published its opinion, scholars predicted that the decision was bound for the casebooks, and they were right. It is a great teaching case, and it is also an important early defense of the principle of affirmative consent, a way of thinking about sexual assault that has gained considerable traction in recent years. A generation of law students has now been introduced to sexual assault law through In re M.T.S.

But there’s something else about M.T.S. that’s striking and important, something that has less to do with sexual assault and much to do with the talents of law students.

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Topics: Faculty, Writing

The Virtue of The Work

Posted by Paula Franzese on 3/6/17 11:45 AM

A reminder for all of us fortunate enough to have work to do. 

Continue to be grateful for the work. It will always be your safe harbor against the heartbreaks and sorrows of this life. Keep in mind that you do it not so much for your own sake but on behalf of the countless people and constituencies, most still nameless and unknown to you, who nonetheless are waiting for you to use your emerging expertise to make their lives better. And you will.

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Topics: Student Life, Faculty

In Defense of Hope: Resolutions for Lawyers and Law Students in the New Year

Posted by Paula Franzese on 12/27/16 8:55 AM

These are uncertain times for the promise of equal access to justice for all. Particularly now, it is important that we the lawyers show up to do what we can do: wield our unique expertise to be instigators, catalysts and defenders of the rule of law, the power of reason and the promise of mercy.

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Topics: Advice and Tips, Student Life, Faculty

Law Schools Invested in the Community Foster Close Connections after Graduation

Posted by David Opderbeck on 12/1/16 2:00 PM

A few years ago I had the opportunity to lecture at a law school in Jérémie, Haiti. Seton Hall Law has a special partnership with this school in Haiti. One of Haiti’s ongoing problems is that its legal system, particularly at the local level, often functions poorly because of lack of resources and corruption. As the law school in Jérémie began to produce graduates who attained positions as judges and local political leaders, the situation in that city, though still very difficult, began to improve. Good lawyers, trained to live out core values of justice and respect for the rule of law, support good communities.

I share this story because it shows the unique value of a law school invested in giving back to its community.

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Topics: Admissions, Student Life, Faculty

How Should Working Professionals Prepare Before Going to Law School?

Posted by Jon Romberg on 11/7/16 11:15 AM

While the majority of law students come to law school directly from college, there are a significant number who come from the workplace. If you are someone who started working after graduating from college and are now considering going to law school, you may be nervous about whether it’s a problem that you don’t really remember everything you learned in college. And you may be wondering what you can or should do to prepare for law school.

The answer is—pretty much nothing. Your college experience, whatever it was and whenever it took place, will not hold you back. And your work experience is an asset, not a liability.

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Topics: Admissions, Faculty

What's the Socratic Method? And Why do Law Professors use it?

Posted by Charles Sullivan on 11/10/15 12:48 PM

 It seems appropriate to title this post with questions because questions are the heart of the so-called “Socratic method,” which is the distinguishing characteristic of law school instruction. Or at least it used to be.

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Topics: Classes and Courses, Faculty