At Friday’s Lunar New Year banquet, APALSA president Andrew Moon described the 7th annual Temple APALSA Lunar New Year Banquet as a family reunion. I could not agree more. The sold-out event brought together students, faculty (David Sonenshein, Tom Lin and adjunct professor John Myers), administrators (Louie Thompson and Farlistcity El), alumni and friends to celebrate a most important Chinese holiday: the Lunar New Year, this year welcoming the Year of the Horse. Vice-President Richard Barzaga reminded us of the ties that bring us together. We were treated to excellent food at Ocean City Restaurant (234 N. 9th Street), and the entertainment was, as always, captivating. Lots of fun photos followed dinner, memorializing the enjoyment and camaraderie of the evening. Most importantly, there was a wonderful sense among the participants that Temple Law fosters something more than education. People who come together here – whether they stay for a few years or a career’s worth – discover the support and encouragement of friendships as enduring as the bonds of family. Speaking of Temple Law as family, earlier on Friday members of the faculty came together, as part of our institutional book club, to discuss What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press 2013). The book examines the teaching strategies of 26 exceptional law professors, one of whom is our own Professor Nancy Knauer. Professor Knauer shared how she’d become involved in the project and how it had impacted – and improved – her already outstanding teaching. Those of us in attendance talked about Professor Knauer’s successful tactics, and discussed ideas for encouraging our faculty to become even more intentional about teaching outcomes than they already are. We all felt inspired to renew our focus on delivering the very best of our abilities to our students.
As I’ve noted elsewhere, law schools across the nation are under considerable pressure to shape our students into the lawyers – and leaders – of tomorrow. But I think we should also take great care to help them connect to one another and to us as people, because it is our connection to each other that sustains and guides us in joyful times and in difficult times. The sense of family that we’ve nurtured at Temple Law is intended to do just that, and I’m proud and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.