Harvard Law School announced the first reform of its first-year curriculum in over 100 years on Friday after the faculty voted unanimously to add three classes to the first-year requirements: international and comparative law, legislation and regulation, and complex problem solving. Dean Elena Kagan praised the change as "a major step forward in our efforts to develop a law school curriculum for the 21st century."
It was not clear from the announcement how quickly the new courses will be introduced. The release adds: "Room for the new first-year courses will be created by devoting fewer class hours to the traditional first-year curriculum (contracts, torts, civil procedure, criminal law, and property) and by revising the school’s calendar to create a new January term for first-year students, devoted exclusively to the Problems and Theories class."
Given both HLS’ prominence and the increasing role of regulation, global business, and complexity on the legal scene, I anticipate that Harvard’s innovation will be copied by other law schools.