Committed to Excellence: New Honors Program Will Attract More Top Talent to Liberty University School of Law

Law is a competitive profession; entry into that profession is equally competitive. With only 40,000 seats available for first-year law students in 203 ABA-accredited law schools, each school—young or old, big or small, national or regional—vies for students who will build the brands of their Alma Maters. Liberty University School of Law is young and small. But its vision expands far beyond its current age and size.

Already enjoying a reputation as a national school committed to academic excellence, service, and skills training, Liberty Law envisions a blindingly bright future. That bright future ensures that our graduates will positively impact legal markets from coast to coast, including the Lynchburg region. One important brick in the road to its bright future is its new Honors Program.

With a full launch upcoming in the 2018 academic year, the Honors Program will promote an exclusive brand. To earn that brand, the Honors Program will be hyper-focused on recruitment, retention, prestige, placement, and development: (1) recruit prospective students; (2) retain students by unlocking their full potential through unique opportunities that transcend the traditional law school experience; (3) brand a prestigious reputation for academic excellence; (4) place students in elite legal positions; and (5) develop a culture of alumni investment in the Honors Program. Over time, the unmistakable brand that will emerge is a Liberty Law that is a national law school committed to academic and ethical excellence competing at every level of the legal profession.

Already enjoying a roster of outstanding students, Liberty Law seeks to unleash each student’s highest potential. The Honors Program will entice high-performing students to join an already rigorous program by offering additional transformative experiences. Firmly trusting that iron sharpens iron, the Honors Program will build high-quality relationships and opportunities that challenge our students to extract their full potential.

A sampling of those opportunities includes: publishing articles in Law Review; serving as research assistants to faculty; engaging in intimate discussions and mentoring relationships with faculty, judges, attorneys and Honors Program alumni; taking a course entitled Judicial Clerkship Seminar; competing on Trial Team, Moot Court Team, or ADR Team; and embracing spiritual development (to nourish more than the mind).

As the Honors Program builds, students will enjoy countless enrichment opportunities.
Retention does not mean simply keeping a student from jumping to another school. Instead, the Honors Program seeks to create jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring experiences so that students realize there is no better place to unlock their unlimited potential. The previous paragraph provided a sneak peak of the amazing opportunities that should retain Honors Program students.

Liberty Law’s distinctive Christian mission ensures that it will never follow the path taken by run-of-the-mill schools untethered to bedrock values.

Liberty Law envisions, however, a prestigious brand as a national school chock-full of high-performing students with the highest ethical standards. To earn a prestigious reputation, the Honors Program offers only two entry points based on the highest academic credentials. But entry is not enough.

Performance must follow. Honors Program students must maintain elite academic standing. If successful, Honors Program students will enjoy recognition at graduation and on their degrees. A Liberty Law degree carries tremendous value; an Honors Program notation carries additional prestige. This notation should promote an apt comparison between our Honors Program graduates with a similar demographic at top law schools.

Liberty Law is Lynchburg’s law school; it also is a national law school. Because law is competitive, placement in top-tier judicial clerkships, law firms, corporations, and government agencies is challenging. Many law schools enjoy head starts spanning decades and centuries. Even though only an adolescent in age, the Honors Program will unleash the potential of students who will compete for prestigious legal positions traditionally reserved to top schools. While Honors Program graduates will go far, they also will stay near. The Lynchburg legal community will benefit from top-tier local legal talent.

Development is essential for the Honors Program, because competing at the highest level is not cheap. Everyone invests in winners. Winning begets winning and creates a culture of excellence. Our competitors enjoy far greater resources. Fifteen law schools boast endowments greater than $100 million; five enjoy endowments exceeding a quarter of a billion dollars. Even though Liberty Law does not enjoy a fraction of those resources—at least not yet—it invests significantly in each student. Honors Program students also will enjoy huge investments in their development. As Honors Program graduates realize the investments that developed their future, they likewise will develop a culture that reinvests in the Honors Program. To the student to whom much is given, much is expected. As development of Honors Program alumni provides additional resources, the Honors Program will reinvest every cent with a hyper-focus on recruitment, retention, prestige, placement, and development.