The formal study of law has been part of Wake Forest University since 1894. Over the years, Wake Forest has evolved as a small Baptist college for men located just north of Raleigh, North Carolina, to an independent, multi-dimensional, nationally recognized university located in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest University School of Law has grown along with and at times led the development of the institution of which it is a part. The law school, which has worked to meet the needs of a changing legal profession as well as the changing needs of students, continues to be a leader in legal education by modeling engagement and professionalism through academic excellence and a thorough commitment to service.
Our school seeks to prepare our students for the practice of law in the United States. Some of our graduates will use their legal educations for important purposes other than law practice, but we recognize that each graduate may be admitted to the bar in any of the 50 states. We, therefore, have a responsibility to provide our students with a foundation of legal knowledge and skill upon which they can build lives of service within the legal profession. We must attempt to instill in every student a respect for the rule of law, a devotion to the ideal of public service, and a commitment to basic professional values: honesty, diligence, competence, intelligence, and civility. In the recruitment of our students and the placement of our graduates, our school is increasingly national in orientation, but we maintain and will continue to nurture a special relationship with our state and region. Our school is small by tradition and design. Our goal is to establish an academic community that unites students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends in an extended, loyal family. We must concern ourselves with the personal development of the individual student, and we should encourage all students to care for one another and for Wake Forest University. We aspire to overcome any economic or ethnic barriers that may have excluded individuals from the legal profession in the past. We believe that the faculty must be committed to teaching and to legal scholarship. We regard these functions as synergistic aspects of a single vocation. Excellent teaching is central to the educational process; legal scholarship informs that process and contributes to the improvement of the law. We seek to attract to our faculty individuals whose character and conduct exemplify the professional and personal ideas that are basic to the school’s mission. The course of study at Wake Forest emphasizes fundamental lawyering skills. Classes are small. Teachers are accessible to students outside of class. In all courses, teachers stress legal analysis and critical thinking, and they encourage students to consider the social and economic settings in which legal principles and rules operate and the ways in which lawyers use those principles and rules in practice. Believing that lawyers must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively, we emphasize the development of skill in written and oral communication. We also recognize the need to instruct our students in the effective use of informational technology. We understand that we are preparing our students to live and work in a changing world that is influenced by transnational developments and globalization.