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In Limine

Partners in Integrity

Journalists and lawyers share a respect for truth.

Photograph by Diana Levine

In this age of disinformation and waning trustworthy news outlets, it is heartening to see BC Law faculty quoted in reliable media on topics like vigilante violence (Mark Brodin in The New Republic) or the “moral hazard” of bank collapses (Pat McCoy on NPR/Marketplace), to name but two recent examples. As honorable keepers of the rule of law, scholars can be vital resources providing perspective, academic acumen, legal skill, and specialty expertise to reporters trying to do their jobs right. The process is not unlike that of a legal scholar drawing upon many resources while researching a law review article or book; much of the fact-gathering detail ends up on the editing room floor, but the knowledge gained isn’t discarded; it’s fed into the document in seen and unseen ways. 

Equally heartening was the appearance of broadcast legend Judy Woodruff as BC Law’s commencement speaker in May. As Dean Odette Lienau discusses in her column in this issue, the PBS reporter embodies an ethic that is as true for the media as it is for the law. How that ethic manifests in legal practice and journalistic output is dependent on the principles, integrity, and values by which the practitioners are guided. Which brings us to BC Law and its mission to educate students by both engendering the goal of doing good and modeling the thinking and behavior that leads to a just society. 

The bonds that are formed, friendships made, and sense of shared purpose that evolve from this intention are “truly unusual at a law school,” Lienau noted in her speech at BC Law’s commencement ceremony. That intention is not unusual in the pages of this magazine, however, where the results of those justice-facing aspirations are brought to life in the stories of the Law School community.  

In this issue, several such stories play out on the world stage. Phillip Weiner ’80 and five other alumni take us around the globe—to international tribunals in Cambodia and The Hague; to law firms, businesses, and non-profits in France, Japan, Korea, Japan, Brazil, and the Republic of Congo. Stories closer to home are also typical of the impacts of BC Law graduates: Sharon Ryan ’85, who came from little and rose to the top of International Paper, advocating for inclusion as she went; Andrew Crawford ’15 who applied BC Law lessons  on his journey to partnership. 

As Dean Lienau believes, law’s integrity depends on those who use it, those who know it. They would be BC Law’s lawyers, and, relatedly, the journalists to whom they tell their stories.

Vicki Sanders, Editor