The University of Chicago Law School Campaign: Inquiry and Impact

The University of Chicago Law School Campaign: Inquiry and Impact

October 11, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


[MUSIC PLAYING] – The University of Chicago
Law School is a place of ideas. – This is a place where you
really have a first rate intellectual exchange. – People want to learn. Figure out what’s
going on in the world. Why things are the way they are. – They want to study the law. They want to become
enveloped by the law. – The education of law school
is our foundation for success. – University of
Chicago Law School is getting the best
possible students and educating them to really
help solve society’s problems. – Our society needs great ideas. It needs this next
generation of leadership who want to make a difference. – The mission of
the law school is to give a set of intellectual,
analytical, argumentative, critical skills that will
stand in the good stead no matter what they do. – There’s no formula
that we can teach people so that they are good lawyers. Instead we teach them how to
think rigorously and flexibly. – These classes have
certainly shaped the way that I look at issues, that I
approach problems, and reach decisions. – I will never say what
were the facts of the case. It’s more complicated,
more interesting. What if we change this fact? Does that make a
different outcome? How would you argue that? – You can know the
facts of the case, and you should know
the facts of the case, but that’s not
going to be enough. You need to have thought
about the reasoning behind it, and the things that the
judges aren’t saying in their opinions, and what
this means for the world, and what this means for
the day-to-day lives of the people who are affected – It’s about learning how
to take it apart, put it back together again,
make it more complex. Imagine arguments that
you wouldn’t otherwise have anticipated. – Both the faculty
and the student body is composed of critical
thinkers and there is an environment there that
encourages innovative thought. – When you’re here, you’re
someplace ideas really matter, where people like
to talk about them. This is the culture,
this emphasis on really wanting to learn. That’s inspiring. – U Chicago is a wonderful
incubator of ideas and figuring out how all these
ideas that seem diametrically opposed can work together. – It was the approach to
problems that we learned here which is you need to understand
the motives, the incentives, the arguments of the
other side extremely well and, ideally, as well as you
understand your own argument. – We’re a law school that
very deliberately tries to have a broad political
spectrum on both the faculty and the student part. Bringing that all together means
creating an atmosphere where people feel free to express
themselves in a way that’s civil and respectful. – I don’t know of any
other academic institution that has that culture. And it replicates itself. – Going here has given
me the intellectual rigor to kind of argue with any
idea in an effective way. – Here we’re a big family
and everyone’s curious about everyone else’s ideas. My student research assistants
are the best feedback people I have. – I have them edit my work. Play devil’s
advocate against me. They are invaluable to me. – And they usually give them
the toughest, critical feedback which is wonderful. – Faculty members at the law
school are intellectual giants. – The faculty members
publish in a way that is absolutely prolific. – Academic workshops are kind
of Hobbes in state of nature where people scream
at each other, and interrupt each other,
and it’s fantastic. – To be self-respected
member of this faculty, you not only have to take
teaching very seriously, but you have to take
scholarship seriously, you have to be productive,
you have to be engaged, and you have to be
a good colleague. – Interdisciplinary study has
been at the core of the law school since its founding. Through extensive
collaboration and dialogue with a host of other fields
such as economics, history, political science,
and philosophy, we’ve brought substantial
new insights to the law. – Economic models can be
helpful for understanding how the law works. What I want to do is
improve them a little bit. – Here you have
economists who really care about the real world
impact of what they do. That’s not always
true in economics. And you can learn a
tremendous amount from them. – People who are serious
about law and economics are attracted to this school. As a result, we
continue to do the best law on economic scholarship. – Legal education
is very technical. So to keep the
imagination alive, we think about what difference
does it make to the law if the lawyers think
like philosophers? Because how you think about
anger, and revenge, and mercy, that’s very pertinent to how
you think about the purposes of the criminal law. Those law connections
are very much a part of my own
writing on these topics. – I write because
I want to affect the way law students
around the country think, about the way law
professors think, the way lawyers think,
the way judges think. I have focused primarily in
the realm of freedom of speech to understand what are the
reasons for protecting freedom of speech, what are
the limitations? – It’s pretty incredible
to sit in a class in constitutional law taught
by Jeff Stone or David Strauss. Every class that you take
at the university you’re kind of taking from someone
very well regarded in the field. – The ideas that have come out
of the writings of the faculty at University of Chicago
have been very impactful on social and economic policy. They can change the world. – Lawyers lead this country. And I’m proud when
I see our alumni in critical, public
service leadership roles. Like Jim Comey
heading up the FBI, Amy Klobuchar in the Senate,
and Ambassador Jim Hormel advocating for human
rights and equality. Two of our former
faculty members are on the Supreme Court
and one is the President of the United States. Public interest is a law
school tradition going back to Edward Levy and beyond. And it’s part of our DNA. – Whether your client be
the United States of America or a corporation,
you really need to think through how it
effects the public as a whole. It’s really up to us
to probe and make sure that we’re doing justice
by really fully evaluating the facts of the case. My law school education helped
me as a federal prosecutor because I learned
that there’s a lot of different angles to every
single legal principle. And it’s only when you start
to be flexible in a way that you think about them, that
you can be a true advocate. – In creating my
company as I want to have an environment
where the best idea wins. And I think that’s
definitely something you get from the University
of Chicago Law School. It’s really about
having the best idea and being able to justify it. – It really is about learning
how to think, to be challenged, learning how to present
ideas, and understanding of legal concepts which,
no matter what I have done, has been highly relevant. For me, the years
at the law school were intellectually formative. It creates an
incredible foundation. – What’s really distinct about
the education at the law school is rigorous challenge
to orthodoxy. At Ventas, we’ve brought
incredible problem solving capabilities
to our industry, help change the
landscape of how health care real estate investment
trusts do business, and all of those things
really came from my foundation at the law school. – When I think about what
drew me to United Airlines, it was about the challenge. Getting involved
in an industry that is trying to remake itself. It’s really all
about innovation. It’s about operating
in gray space. It’s about having
the opportunity to resolve the most
significant issues you can get your hands on. An education at the law school
teaches students from day one to be courageous in the way that
they approach solving problems. – The law school is one of
the gems of the university. I think pound for pound
the best law school in the United States. We have to continue that. – This country
needs the University of Chicago Law School, whose
scholars do work at the cutting edge of knowledge and whose
students are trained to become the leaders of tomorrow. – What I see is
smart people who have been armed with a special
way to think about the world and think about
solving problems. – I credit the law
school with teaching me how to think critically,
with exposing me to peers who had a greater
depth and breadth of experience than I had, and to start me on
my path to pursuing justice. – This place has
given me so much. – Coming to the law
school gives you time to really shape yourself. – We still have a common
mission when we leave here. We still get to learn and
figure out how to work together towards something greater. – The truth is without the
generous support of our alumni and friends, we would not be
the University of Chicago Law School. And what enables us to
be great is the fact that we have that
generosity that lets us do the things
that make a special and that make us who we are. – We need philanthropic
support to attract and retain great faculty, to
start new programs, to create pathways
to public service, and to attract the most
promising students to our law school. – We have to provide more
opportunities for students. By doing that, we will
perpetuate the greatness of the law school. – A gift to the
University of Chicago Law School because we
have an education that is really unrivaled. – We support the leadership
initiatives at the law school because the impact that
that’s going to have will be tremendous. – I give to the law
school because it was the first place in my life
where it was cool to be smart and that was absolutely
transformational for me. – I give to the law school
because I believe the law school makes a difference. – Being a student at the
University of Chicago is incredible and hard. I don’t think I’ve ever worked
harder than I have in the three years that I spent
here, but I don’t think I’ve ever grown as
much, or learned as much, or had a more
incredible experience. That is what makes
you grow and what makes you develop
into the person that’s going to be able to take on all
the challenges in the future. [CHEERING]