Dean Peñalver Delivers Distinguished Lecture at Jindal Global Law School in New DelhiIthaca, NEW YORK, Feb 11, 2016
On January 11, Eduardo Peñalver, Allan R. Tessler Dean and professor of law, delivered the Jindal Global Law School's distinguished public lecture at the India International Centre, New Delhi. His address titled "The Role of Legal Education in Protecting the Rule of Law" focused on shifting attitudes towards legal education, practicing law, and the role that law plays in the development of technology and innovation.
In an era of technology startups and entrepreneurship, the rule of law has often been subject to criticism for remaining stagnant and slowing down the speed of innovation. However, Peñalver emphasized that " despite the technological wonders that entrepreneurs have created, the state, the stable rule of law—and therefore law itself and the legal profession—remain vital."
Rather than viewing law as a hindrance to innovation, he noted that the two actually play off each other. "The stable rule of law is crucial to human beings’ ability to maintain a free society—the kind of society in which individuals feel empowered and confident enough to think and act differently—to innovate."
In discussing the importance of the rule of law Peñalver also highlighted the importance of fostering an environment within legal education to allow law students and faculty to expand on the role that law plays within the growing "startup culture." He noted that it comes down to three characteristics: facilitating a culture that encourages faculty to conduct research alongside their teaching, striving for law education that is interdisciplinary and allows students to apply their skills to a wide range of different fields, and being attentive to diversity and allowing students the opportunity to work with peers and clients from different backgrounds.
In conclusion, Peñalver reiterated that the rule of law continues to have a stake in these days of "technological optimism." However in order for law to remain stable while still allowing room for innovation, it requires "well trained and large-minded lawyers and therefore law schools that are diverse, interdisciplinary, and globally minded."