Annual Message from Dean Elena B. Langan
Dear Alumni and Friends of Touro Law Center:
I am delighted to report that we are back in our beautiful building and the semester is in full swing. It has been quite a year. Our ABA re-accreditation virtual site visit this past March and the ongoing pandemic have kept us busy in ways I could not have imagined when I assumed the deanship a little more than two years ago. We were able to kick off in-person classes in style with a welcome-back barbecue on October 3rd—it was so heartening to catch up with everyone!
This year, as all Touro Law deans have done before me, I am working with my fellow administrators and the faculty to foster excellence in teaching, create new programs, and strengthen areas of practice in which we already excel.
I continue to be impressed by our faculty. They are leaders in the profession, acting as role models for our students and enhancing the growing reputation of the school. Professor Rena Seplowitz has been appointed the Bruce K. Gould Distinguished Professor of Law. Sara Berman joins us as the new Assistant Dean for Academic Excellence and Bar Success and Professor of Law. Jorge Roig was recently recognized as the recipient of the Educator Award for Leadership in Law as presented by Long Island Business News. Myra Berman has assumed a new role as Associate Dean for Experiential Learning & Special Programs as well as maintaining her role as Associate Professor of Law. And, of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to say goodbye to our most recently retired faculty including Professors Richard Klein, Thomas Schweitzer, and Jeffrey Morris.
Our incoming class consists of a diverse, impressive group of 239 students. The average student age is 27—the oldest being 57 and the youngest just 20 years old! The class identifies as 38% minority students and 53% women. Additionally, 16.7% of the class have graduate degrees, including 4 students who have doctorate degrees. Our FlexTime Program continues to grow in demand, having enrolled our largest class so far with 47 students this fall.
One of my primary goals in the area of Student Excellence is to raise significant funds for new scholarships. In this area, we have met with success that builds on the accomplishments of past administrations. In the past two years, we have added 14 new named scholarships, creating nearly 65 named scholarships to benefit more than 80 students. These scholarships have a direct impact on our students, and we hope to continue to build upon our success.
Centers of Excellence
We currently have a number of Institutes at Touro Law—and one of my goals is to work with the Directors of those Institutes to enhance their profile for today’s practicing bar as well as to the legal academy. We also aspire to add new Institutes—developing a robust environment for bringing creative solutions to some of the most pressing legal and social issues of the day.
Our alumni base is more than 6,500 strong. Our graduates occupy seats in state, city and county legislatures; run municipal governments and critical administrative departments at the highest levels; they are judges; work as successful in-house corporate counsels as well as partners at major law firms in New York, Washington, D.C., and beyond; they are entrepreneurial successes; they operate large, nationally respected family businesses; they are hardworking attorneys in small and medium size firms; they serve as Assistant DA’s and U.S. Attorneys; they clerk for distinguished judges; and they do the public good in countless jobs in government and legal services offices.
Touro Long Island: This year, Touro School of Health Sciences and School of Graduate Education have joined Touro Law Center in the building at 225 Eastview Drive in Central Islip, creating the Touro College Long Island Campus. On September 14, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new academic building on the property. The building will be home to classrooms, offices, and the William Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center. This event was part of Touro College & University Systems’ 50th Jubilee Anniversary.
40th Anniversary Celebration: Last year we had the opportunity to mark our 40th anniversary—giving us cause to celebrate the programs and the people of Touro Law over 4 decades! Throughout the year we held both academic and social events, and raised more than $1.1M in honor of our 40 year celebration. We created several affinity scholarships —Women’s Empowerment in the Law, Student Bar Association, LEAP, Law Review and Moot Court. We were also able to embrace the new Zoom culture brought on by the pandemic, holding academic CLE sessions and class reunions attended by record numbers of people, unencumbered by a commute to the Law Center.
Conferences/Lectures/Programs/Calendar of Events: This year we have already hosted some impressive conferences and have a robust calendar of events planned for the year. We have already enjoyed the Robert M. Cover Conference, Equal Justice in the Courts: Celebrating the Legacy of Franklin H. Williams, The Aging and Health Law Conference, and Annual Land Use Conference, among others.
We look forward to
• Leon D. Lazer Supreme Court CLE – November 5, 2021
• Redressing Legacies of Injustice from Slavery, Empire and Beyond: Reparations and Restorative Justice –
January 26, February 16, March 23, and April 13, 2022
• Perfect for Practice CLE for newly admitted attorneys – January 7/9/21/23, 2022
• The Goods & Services Auction – February 28 - March 2, 2022
• The Annual Liberty and Justice for All Dinner – April 28, 2022
A Final Word
I am looking forward to the year ahead. I am reminded daily through interactions with various members of the Touro Law family—students, alumni, faculty, staff, Board members, friends—that I am part of a very special community. I am dedicated to ensuring our law school provides our students with the education and experiences they need to be successful.
I am excited to see how the Touro Community will grow this academic year and beyond. We already have so much to be proud of, but if I have learned anything in my tenure it is that at Touro Law, the best is always yet to come.
Elena B. Langan
Dean and Professor of Law