We're all moved into our new Long Island City home.
In case you're keeping score, our current home is our fifth location since the founding in 1983. Our new building is warm, inviting, and environmentally friendly. Did you know that it recycles rainwater and runs entirely on wind power? Plus, I'm amazed at the beauty of the light that pours into the space on all sides.
Our new location is helping students, faculty, alums, and visitors overcome what had been a big challenge: just getting to us. If you gaze out the Law School's windows, you see the elevated 7 train leaving Court Square, three stops from Manhattan. (Six other lines are within walking distance.) That's all it takes. We're no longer the last stop on the line, plus a bus ride.
Having a central location and great access to public transportation makes a difference. These things improve our ability to serve historically underrepresented communities throughout the metropolitan area, including here in Queens. Students find it speedier to get to classes after internships. We now have a beautiful facility minutes from Manhattan to welcome distinguished guests. And, because people can easily get here after work, we're considering offering a part-time, evening program.
But our move is about more than location. It's about a new environment for the Law School, one that better serves our students so that they can better serve others.
To create such an environment, our architects went on a listening tour, asking students, faculty, and staff about their ideal work space. The architects transformed our six floors into an educational facility committed to public interest law. We have written our passions onto this building. In our elevator lobbies, for example, excerpts from key international human rights documents decorate the ceilings and walls.
More comfortable and plentiful areas for studying are available here. Classrooms have better sight lines and acoustics, with equipment to digitally record and play back classes and oral arguments. I remember teaching in the old building in Room 135 where students at the edges of the room were outside my peripheral vision; students in the center had to raise their hands to draw my attention to students on the sides who wanted to speak. We also had to open the windows onto Main Street when the room became intolerably hot, and as a result sirens punctuated the dialog. No longer.
One upshot of having a better building is that we want to spend more time here. Students are flooding the library and study rooms throughout the building. I heard from a number of faculty members who spent the entire summer on our new campus, enjoying their new offices and working here instead of at home.
This is a transformational moment in the life of CUNY Law. We now have an excellent, centrally located facility, allowing us to better serve our clients and provide a serious and appealing place for students to study.
We now own a building that does justice to the importance of the work we do. Law in the service of human needs is a vital mission, worthy of a beautiful place in which to work and flourish. We are blessed to have it.
So, to students, faculty, and staff, and to the greater CUNY Law community, welcome home.
Michelle J. Anderson
Dean and Professor of Law