The Mark of a Great Law School

Dean TachaThe mark of a great law school is that the teaching commitment of its faculty is informed by robust and creative scholarly research and writings.

Teaching becomes a stagnant and even outdated endeavor if not constantly revitalized by the thoughtful consideration of new frontiers of knowledge, analysis, and inquiry that is the work of a great scholar. In the law school setting, scholarship takes many forms because, in part, the goal of scholarly work is to assist legal professionals. It is also to move the body of legal literature forward by informing cases under consideration by judges and issues being analyzed by lawyers, as well as expanding the horizons of public policy and academic inquiry.

As a former federal judge, immersed in cases and opinions for 25 years, I can personally attest to the intellectual exhilaration of finding a law review or journal article that directly assists in the analysis of a case under advisement. Although a scholarly article rarely provides the on-point answer in a particular case or controversy, the precision with which legal scholars can predict and analyze the most current issues before the courts, and challenge lawyers and public policy makers, is one of the major contributions to the body of legal knowledge. Further, legal scholarship may reach beyond the current issues and begin to push the frontiers of the law to new and stimulating possibilities for the future. Other types of scholarship examine the history of the law to try to inform its future directions. finally, other forms of legal scholarship are very pragmatic in their purposes: assisting lawyers, judges, mediators, and even litigants in the everyday understanding of the law at work in practice, in courtrooms, and in the public square. all these forms of legal scholarship are valuable tools for the profession, and I am proud and gratified to present this brief compendium of the great, recent work of the Pepperdine university school of law scholars.

Members of the faculty are fully engaged in all of the valuable forms of legal scholarship. They are thereby enriching their call to teaching and the classroom experiences of our students. in addition, because of Pepperdine’s commitment to be a law school dedicated to Christian values, many of our faculty are exploring in thoughtful ways the most difficult questions of our time at the intersection of religion, values, service to humanity, and the law as it affects these important human impulses. I hope that all who read this list of achievements will be energized and inspired, as I continually am, by the work of these remarkable scholars. I am honored to work among them.

Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean
and Professor of Law

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