Elon University School of Law seeks nominations of distinguished legal teachers and scholars for appointment as the inaugural Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Professor at Elon Law. The O’Connor Professor at Elon Law will be appointed for a visiting term and will be expected to participate fully in the life of Elon University and Elon Law although areas of teaching and scholarship are flexible. The O’Connor Professor at Elon Law will reflect the tenets and values of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who served for 25 years from 1981 to 2006 on the Supreme Court of the United States as the first female Justice and who presided over Elon Law’s first Convocation when it opened in 2006. It is expected that the O’Connor Professor at Elon Law will honor Justice O’Connor’s legacy of service to our nation with the following qualities:
Leadership and the Lessons of Experience
Justice O’Connor was a trailblazer as an attorney, legislator and judge. Her example as a pioneer is integral to Elon Law’s innovative and highly engaged approach to legal education that appeals to creative students and faculty who aspire to leadership in the law.
Legal Method, the Rule of Law and the Judicial Process
Justice O’Connor embodied the principle of judicial independence. This approach to lawyering and judging coincides with Elon Law’s focus to embed its students with the understanding of how the process and substance of the law organize civil society.
Coalescence of the Theoretical and the Practical
Justice O’Connor earned an economics degree that was intended to help run the family farm, contributing to her approach that theory must be applied practically to solve real problems for real people. Elon Law emphasizes practical application of theory by integrating classroom instruction with full time experience in the preparation of students for careers in the law.
Justice O’Connor’s commitment to her profession and its role in our society is apparent from her decisions affecting the regulation of the bar and her high standards for her own conduct and the conduct of those with whom she interacted. Elon Law’s own commitment to the highest standards of professionalism is reflected in our learning by doing ethos.
Diversity and Innovation
Justice O’Connor was a pioneer and a role model, providing a guiding light for the future. Elon Law has twice been recognized as an innovator in legal education and has exhibited a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, consistent with the examples established by Justice O’Connor.
A Model for Legal Preceptors
Justice O’Connor continues to inspire lawyers and judges, not to mention law students who admire and model her conduct and approach to life and the law. Elon Law’s distinctive approach to legal education, focused on learning by doing with lawyers and judges serving as preceptors who offer meaningful coaching to students, provides iterative, immersive and integrated preparation that allows students, faculty, staff, lawyers, and judges to work and learn together.
Elon Law seeks a distinguished legal scholar to join its faculty at its Greensboro, NC, campus to teach, conduct research and share special expertise with the Elon community. With a focus on learning by doing, Elon Law is recognized for innovation in legal education through a highly experiential, 2.5-year curriculum that integrates traditional classroom instruction with unique course-connected, full-time residencies-in-practice in a logically sequenced program of professional preparation. Elon Law’s groundbreaking approach is accomplished in seven trimesters and provides distinctive value that has reduced our graduates’ debt and allows them early entry into the profession. Since adopting the new curriculum, Elon Law has experienced improvement in applications, enrollment, entering metrics, bar pass, and diversity.
Elon University is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse faculty, staff and student body and welcomes all applicants.