There's some exciting news today out of my old home in West Philly. Dan Filler has been named the next dean at Drexel Law School. Cribbing now from Drexel president John Fry's announcement:
We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel M. Filler as the new dean of Drexel’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law. Professor Filler, 54, currently is the Kline School’s Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs. As an inaugural member of the faculty in 2006, he helped with the formative development of the School. In his new leadership role, Dan brings a wealth of legal practice experience, in addition to 18 years in teaching.
Dan was chosen from a list of excellent finalists after a national search by the firm Korn Ferry, which specializes in law school deanship searches. We thank Dr. James Herbert, chair, and the members of the search committee comprised of faculty, students, alumni and members of the judicial community for their service and such a wonderful outcome.
As a practitioner, legal scholar and academic, Dan enjoys the highest respect from colleagues in the legalcommunity. They view him as someone who builds networks, encourages collegiality and brings out the best in new scholars and teachers, helping them develop and find their footing in the classroom and in scholarship. Those qualities are well-known by the Kline School of Law faculty and professional staff, who were actively engaged in the search for a new dean.
Working in collaboration with founding dean Roger Dennis, Dan has helped expand the law school’s LLM program, which trains international lawyers about the U.S. legal system, the Global JD program for lawyers from abroad who plan to sit for an American bar exam, and online Master of Legal Studies, which recently joined an exclusive group of law schools in receiving accreditation from the Compliance Certification Board.
As a scholar, Dan’s work has focused on issues relating to juvenile justice, sex-offender community notification, and the death penalty. His scholarship has appeared in some the nation’s top law journals and his trailblazing work on Megan’s Law was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. Before joining Drexel, Dan was a professor of law at the University of Alabama School of Law, where he established the school's Capital Defense Clinic. During that time, he chaired the American Bar Association’s assessment of the fairness and accuracy of the Alabama death penalty. The U.S. Supreme Court cited the report that resulted from that assessment in a 2012 ruling that favored a death-row inmate in Alabama. Pennsylvania leaders looked to Dan for his expertise on capital punishment in 2012, appointing him to the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Advisory Committee on Capital Punishment. He has been a leader in the legal academic community, serving as chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Law and Humanities and on the executive board of several other AALS sections.
Dan also has been a leading commentator on legal education, creating in 2008 The Faculty Lounge blog, which quickly became one of the go-to blogs in the legal academic community. In addition to logging millions of visits, The Faculty Lounge has been a three-time winner of the American Bar Association’s Blawg 100 award.
Dan earned his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his JD from New York University School of Law after serving as an editor for the New York University Law Review and winning the Orison S. Marden Moot Court Competition. Dan clerked for Judge J. Dickson Phillips, on the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and worked for The Bronx Defenders and the Defender Association of Philadelphia following two years at the internationally renowned law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton.
This is an exciting time for the Kline School of Law, which welcomed its tenth class in August. Thanks to the magnificent gift from noted trial attorney Thomas R. Kline, students soon will be able to hone their advocacy skills in a unique setting — the Thomas R. Kline Institute of Trial Advocacy, housed in a renovated historic building at 1200 Chestnut Street.
While we welcome Dan to his new role, effective Jan. 1, we are profoundly grateful to Roger Dennis for putting Kline Law on such a successful path during a difficult period in American legal education. Throughout his tenure as dean, Roger has remained the driving force behind this innovative and successful institution.
We are confident that, under his leadership, Drexel’s Kline School of Law will realize its enormous potential to advance legal education. Please join us in congratulating Dan.