A Good Time to Be a Law Student
At the end of the 18th century, Thomas Paine wrote, "We have it in our power to begin the world over again - the birthday of a new world is at hand." We are indeed in a similar position at the beginning of the 21st century, but we don't have the birth of our Constitution and Bill of Rights to celebrate.
We are, however, not without momentous documents and principles. This new century (and millennium) commences with a celebration of the constitutional spirit, since the rule of law and the democratic forces that produce it are alive and well all over the world.
At Cardozo, our faculty and students are constantly exploring the rule of law and its meaning for our global society. The subject may be comparative constitutionalism, various branches of legal theory, or even Jewish law but the themes are constant and inevitably return to the connection between democracy and the rule of law.
The civilizing and liberalizing effect of legal systems
that ensure independent judiciaries and stable social rules and norms are
something we critique and support. In effect, the 18th century concepts
born in America have taken hold worldwide. As an institution we are crafting
an educational structure that celebrates the public virtues the rule of
law implicates. From this perspective, it is a great time to be a lawyer,
a legal academic, or a servant of the law. Perhaps it is best just to be
a law student. The prospect of a satisfying legal career virtually anywhere
in the world is not unrealistic, and the opportunity to use one's legal
training to foster support of the rule of law has never been more at hand.