First came New York Law School. Then Brooklyn Law. Now Baltimore has joined the club of law schools appointing high powered politico lawyers as dean. The University of Baltimore School of Law announced the appointment of Ronald Weich, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, to head up the program. Welch previously served as chief counsel to Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy. He holds a JD from Yale.
There is little question that Weich will bring some valuable connections to the law school on both the placement and development side. He'll probably need a moving van to carry his Rolodex. This is a definite upside for the law school. In a couple of years we'll have to see how this wave of non-academic deans works out. My guess is that Weich must be talented at the use of both hard and soft power. His challenge, I suppose, will be to figure out the appropriate use of each tactic in a very different working environment.