Skip to main content

In Limine

vicki sanders, editor in cheif

The World Is So Much With Us
The academy does not exist in isolation

Vicki SandersWorking on a campus, it’s possible to see how quickly events in the world can impact or change a learning environment. Take, for instance, the BC Law Review’s April bankruptcy symposium. Days after Congress passed the controversial Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, Law School students were sitting before panels of scholars from across the land as they debated the merits of the new law.

Granted, the event had been planned in advance, so the timing was something of a coincidence, but that fact does not detract from the powerful convergence that occurred. Among the outcomes is “Walking the Debt Plank,” a story in this issue of BC Law Magazine that explores the impact the bankruptcy act will have on indebted consumers and on the lawyers and judges practicing in the field. Meanwhile, student editors at the Law Review are preparing the symposium papers for publication in their upcoming issue.

Another example. Only a few years ago, the Law School, recognizing the growing importance of international law, began putting more muscle behind the subject. Today, new faculty and an expanding international law program have students and faculty traveling the globe and delving into comparative studies here at home.

How pervasive an influence this recent curricular shift has been is exemplified in numerous ways throughout these pages.

Arguably, the most unusual outcome is 3L Charity Clark’s poetry, inspired by study trips to The Hague and Argentina. But a close second is 3L John Didiuk’s adventures as an election observer during the contentious presidential election in Ukraine last December. Then there is the story of how a few ambitious students assembled a moot court team to compete in the European Union law competition and made it all the way to Madrid.

Perhaps nowhere is rapid change more apparent than in the Boston College Law Library. Ahead of its time when it opened in 1996, the library nevertheless has had to evolve at lightning speed to keep pace with the continuing demands of technology.

While alumni are no doubt aware of many of the changes because of their own legal research, the extent to which technology has altered the entire library landscape is astonishing. BC Law librarian Karen S. Beck takes readers beyond the stacks for a look at this strange new world.

Nothing galvanizes debate like life and death issues. Dean John Garvey sees in the real-world Terri Schiavo case a lesson for the academy, contending that diversity in an educational institution is essential if it is to fulfill its mission to arrive at truth—away from the capricious influences of politics and special interests. The last word goes to Professor Phyllis Goldfarb, whose research into final statements, particularly those of prisoners on death row, presents a provocative challenge to capital punishment.

Vicki Sanders
Editor in Chief