Designing a class schedule is a daunting prospect when you have upwards of 1,500 courses to choose from.
Stanford Law School has launched an online tool to help students navigate those choices and better prepare them to practice in specific areas of the law. The school spent three years developing its SLSNavigator, which is also available to the public for use by potential and current law students anywhere.
"Law students need more today than the traditional second- and third-year law school curriculum offers them," dean Larry Kramer said. "It is important for 2Ls and 3Ls to learn more doctrine, but it is equally important for them to learn how to think like clients during their upper years."
The SLSNavigator is one of a series of curriculum reforms Kramer launched in 2006 to respond to changes in the legal profession.
Visitors can explore general areas such as business law, employment law, intellectual property law or public interest law. From there, the site breaks down specific practices and allows users to search for pertinent courses. For example, the general health care law section breaks down into discussions of health care reform, providers and life science research and companies.
The lists include courses offered by the law school as well as other academic departments, in line with the law school's goal of fostering interdisciplinary education. Each course listing describes how the content relates to the highlighted area of law.
The site, developed following interviews with practicing attorneys, alumni, faculty and other legal professionals, points to relevant journals and blogs, according to the school.
SLSNavigator also directs users to SLSConnect, a networking site for Stanford students, faculty and alumni.
"We encourage our students to think about their career goals much more broadly," said Kramer, who is stepping down as dean at the end of August. "SLSNavigator helps students do that, while also giving them good advice on how best to take advantage of Stanford's wide-ranging curriculum options."