Message from the Dean

Dean Charles Nelson

On behalf of the Faulkner Law family–faculty, staff and students–I want to welcome you to our school.   This school has a long and proud history in Alabama.  It has produced Supreme Court justices, outstanding attorneys, leaders in the bar of Alabama, and outstanding business leaders.  At the same time, we are a school constantly examining our program to make changes and improvements to your legal education.

We believe your legal education begins even before the first semester of law school.  We offer you the opportunity to participate in a MiniPrep course that is designed to help you understand the law school experience.  Our courses for first year students are building block courses upon which the rest of your education will depend.  In addition, the first year will include the development of research and writing skills which are essential to the life of a lawyer.  Finally, you will have the opportunity to explore the foundations of our jurisprudence and our legal system.  We regard each of these as essential to the making of the complete lawyer, a person who has both the understanding and the moral foundation to successfully represent clients.

Beyond the first year, we try to give you opportunities to develop significantly enhanced skills.  Our nationally ranked trial and advocacy program provides wonderful experience in the art of oral advocacy.  Our clinics provide you an opportunity to use your skills to actually represent and serve clients.  Our clinics are all organized around the principle of service consistent with our Christian mission.  Our track system gives those who know the area of law in which they want to practice an opportunity to study related areas in greater depth.  Finally, our student organizations offer the opportunity to hear speakers and engage in activities which enhance your classroom learning.  We do not pretend that you will graduate from law school as a “complete lawyer” as that will come with the experience of practice.  However, we want to give you as much experience as we can so as to set you on the path to represent your clients with great skill.

Finally, we believe that the capstone of your legal education is the bar examination.  No one practices law without passing the bar exam and one of our tasks is to prepare you well for that.  To do that, we provide a third-year course to begin the review of everything you have learned.

Once you have passed the bar, your education continues in practice.  We intend that you will be a life-long learner of the law.  We also intend that you will see your career as an opportunity for service–to your clients, to the state in which you practice and to the nation.   We want that service to be rendered with the highest sense of professional ethics and morality so that Faulkner lawyers are seen as those who strengthen not only the legal system but also the moral fiber of our state and nation.

If this strikes a positive note with you, we invite you to become part of our great school.