THE ADVOCATE 259
VOL. 78 PART 2 MARCH 2020
PETER A. ALLARD
SCHOOL OF LAW
By Dr. Cristie Ford*
The longstanding Associate Dean of Research part of my portfolio is important.
In all its aspects, it is well developed and well supported. The newly
created aspect of my portfolio, the Associate Dean for the Legal Profession,
really emerged from my own interest in how the legal profession was
changing as a result of technology and new business processes in particular.
I have been writing about legal institutions and regulatory design and
change for a number of years. My most recent book, Innovation and the
State: Finance, Regulation, and Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2017),
looks at innovation and financial regulation and argues that innovation is
really the most pressing and fundamental challenge that regulation has to
confront these days.
Innovation undermines our assumptions—it erodes jurisdictional boundaries,
it introduces a high level of uncertainty and it often proceeds at great
speeds, which is not something that our legal institutions are well equipped
to manage. A few years ago, I realized that a lot of what I have written
regarding financial innovation also applied to my own backyard—to the
legal profession and to legal education. Innovation is influencing the business
of law, the profession of law and potentially the philosophical underpinnings
of the rule of law itself. In my new Associate Dean role, I am
motivated by all of the above and by a strong sense of responsibility to our
students and to our graduates, as well as the desire to be forward-looking as
we think about legal education and legal thought.
Sometimes people will suggest that there is a fundamental tension or disconnect
between the academic mission of a law school, as a faculty within
a broader university, and the law school’s role as a training ground for a pro-
* Dr. Cristie Ford is a professor at Allard Law and Associate Dean, Research and the Legal Profession.