John Marshall Law School in Chicago has announced that Dean Darby Dickerson of Texas Tech Law will be its new Dean. She will take over on January 1. Dickerson, who holds a JD from Vanderbilt, joined Texas Tech as its Dean in 2011.
The University of Oregon invites nominations and applications for the Dean of the School of Law. The Dean reports to the Senior Vice President and Provost and is the academic leader, fundraiser, and chief executive of Oregon Law.
Founded in 1884, the University of Oregon School of Law is the top law school in Oregon with campuses in both Eugene and Portland. It is the state’s only public law school, with a long tradition of training top lawyers, including judges, politicians, government officials, legal scholars, and other law professionals to serve clients, the state, the nation, and the world. Oregon Law’s highly ranked specialty programs include Environmental and Natural Resources law, Appropriate Dispute Resolution, and Legal Research and Writing. The School has a robust undergraduate program in Legal Studies, an LLM program, and a Master’s program in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. The School is well integrated into the larger University community. Building on a commitment to serve the public interest, Oregon Law prepares lawyers to become innovators, activists, and advocates for change, all working within the law to make society better. More information about the Law School may be found at www.law.uoregon.edu.
The Dean of the School of Law will be an inspiring, broad-minded leader and legal professional with a nimble and dynamic vision for enhancing the excellence of Oregon Law. The Dean will possess a J.D. and an academic record to qualify for tenure. Candidates should have a distinguished record of academic achievements in a core discipline and/or interdisciplinary field and the credentials to warrant appointment as a professor within the School. The Dean will nurture high-quality research, teaching, and diversity as important components of academic excellence. The successful candidate also will have strong experience with successful advocacy and fundraising. Candidates should possess demonstrated ability and experience to manage a large, complex budget. In addition to these requirements, the Dean will provide leadership and strategic vision, work well in a collaborative decision-making environment with associates and key constituencies, and have demonstrated organizational and management skills to lead path-breaking legal education.
The University of Oregon is one of only two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities, is a member of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, and holds the distinction of a “very high research activity” ranking in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The University offers 272 undergraduate majors, minors, and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines across nine schools and colleges. The University has broad-based academic strengths with eight professional programs and 12 doctoral programs ranked among the top 20 percent nationally.
Inquiries, nominations, and expressions of interest may be sent to Werner Boel and Suzanne Teer, the Witt/Kieffer consultants assisting the Law School with this search, at OregonLawDean@wittkieffer.com. Electronic submissions are strongly encouraged. A complete application will include a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae, and contact information for five professional references. The anticipated starting date for the new dean is July 1, 2017. This position is open until filled.
In response to several straight poor results on bar examinations, which (although Dean DeVito doesn’t directly admit this) were the direct result of dropping admission standards starting in 2011, Dean DeVito announced that the school will be raising its admission standards back to 2010 levels, aiming for a median LSAT of 150 or higher, and a 25% percentile of 147. The letter indicates that Florida Coastal has already raised their incoming LSAT requirements by 5 points (for 2015, they were at 148/144/141) and states that the school plans to raise LSAT quartiles by two more points in the next admissions cycle. He suggests that this change should result in a return to bar passage rates in the mid 70s, noting that Florida Coastal’s first-time pass rate was consistently in the mid 70s prior to 2010 when their median LSAT was 150.
Dean DeVito should be heartily commended for finally putting a stop to the exploitation of hundreds of students with poor aptitude for the study of law. But it is clear that he has done so very grudgingly, and that he is not happy about it. In fact, he says he is “incredibly frustrated” at having to raise standards because the more pressing crisis, in his view, is diversity in the profession, not declining bar passage rates. He does not acknowledge in any way that Florida Coastal erred by lowering its standards in the first place, but rather bemoans the fact that raising admissions standards to the levels required to produce an acceptable bar pass rate will (in his opinion) result in decreased diversity because of an insufficient pool of minority students with LSAT scores close to the median. (Incidentally, the actual median is between 151 and 152, not 150.) While I do not doubt Dean DeVito’s sincere commitment to increasing diversity in the profession, he is not fooling anyone if he is suggesting that Florida Coastal’s decision to dramatically lower its admission standards was driven by a desire to increase diversity. Florida Coastal’s irresponsible and unethical admission policies, like those of its sister schools Charlotte and Arizona Summit, were driven by InfiLaw’s corporate policy of profit-maximization (aka greed). While these schools have touted their high rates of diversity, what they have failed to mention is that a disproportionate share of the enormous revenues they have generated in recent years came from minority students who were (quite predictably) unable to complete their degrees or pass the bar.
It's chaired by Paul Kahn and includes Stephen Carter, Amy Chua, Jon Macey, Claire Priest, Kate Stith, and Jim Silk. I'm thinking the successful candidate will probably be a senior partner at a big Connecticut firm, but who knows?
The appointments are organized alphabetically by state, and within each state, by school, with a list of the Head Dean and any Assistant and Associate Deans. In addition, profile links, email addresses and background degree information is provided. Certain information is color-coded to help identify specific factors (e.g., female deans, post-graduate degrees). We specifically focused on questions of gender, pedigree and level of degrees in relation to state geographies, and we have included some overview of our findings below.
There are, of course, a substantial number of additional factors that could be incorporated into the study, and might influence how the data is interpreted: e.g., questions of age, disability, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic conditions, and so forth. The data was compiled from the 2015-2016 academic year, so there may be some more recent updates that are not incorporated into this study. We apologize for any errors, hope the document is of interest, and grateful for any corrections.
Last week, Dean Jocelyn Benson announced she would be stepping down as dean of Wayne State Law, to take over as CEO of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality. She served for four years. Next week, Lance Gable - the school's current associate dean - will take the helm as interim dean. Gable, who joined the Wayne State faculty in 2006, holds a JD Georgetown.
The University of Missouri at Columbia (MU) seeks a dynamic and visionary leader for the position of Dean of the School of Law. The Dean reports directly to the Provost and actively contributes to decisions affecting the University at large as a member of the Council of Deans. The Dean is responsible for strategic planning and budgets; hiring faculty and staff; development activities; and building a climate of excellence in the College, and in all aspects of the University’s academic mission.
MU, part of the four-campus University of Missouri System, is one of the most comprehensive universities in the United States. It is an AAU, Doctoral/Research Extensive, and Land-Grant institution with over 35,000 students. MU is located in Columbia, Missouri, one of America’s most livable cities. The School of Law is a full-time J.D. and L.L.M.-granting institution, and is home to 37 full-time faculty and approximately 320 students. MU was the first U.S. law school to offer an L.L.M. exclusively focused on dispute resolution and consistently ranks as one of the top law schools in that field. The School is a charter member of the AALS and is fully accredited by ABA. For more information, please see http://law.missouri.edu/. The School strives to foster a diverse faculty of nationally recognized scholars committed to effective teaching, and to attract a student body with diverse experiences and views.
Qualifications: The Dean should have a distinguished record appropriate to academic appointment as full professor. The ideal candidate is committed to the School’s mission of teaching, research, service, and economic development; is a strong advocate for diversity; and can articulate a compelling vision for the School’s future. Candidates should have appropriate administrative experience. The Dean will devote a substantial amount of his/her time to development activities. S/he should have the highest standards of personal integrity, be committed to stimulating innovation in the School, and be able to communicate the School’s vision to all audiences.
Loyal readers of this website will recall my debate in late 2014/early 2015, with Charlotte Law’s Dean Jay Conison, about Charlotte’s/InfiLaw’s admission policies. (For a refresher, see here and here.) I suggested, as I did in my infamous Dean candidate talk at Florida Coastal, that admitting so many extremely high risk students would inevitably result in a steep drop in bar passage rates, which would potentially jeopardize the school’s accreditation. Dean Conison disputed this notion, suggesting that horrible LSAT scores and UGPAs did not have the same meaning at Charlotte Law as elsewhere and admonishing me that law school is not a “black box.”
Dean Conison took the helm at Charlotte Law in April 2013, in time to impact admissions for the entering class of 2013. Let us not forget that Dean Conison came straight from being the Dean at Valparaiso Law School where the classes that he recruited in his final years have driven the school’s reputation, and bar passage rate, right into the toilet. Since the fall entering class of 2013 recently graduated, I thought it would be a propitious time to check in on how Charlotte’s students have fared under Conison’s leadership.
Retired Davis, Polk partner Harry Ballan has been named the new dean of Touro College Law. Ballan holds a JD from Columbia and a Ph.D in history and theory of music from Yale. He follows Patricia Salkin, who is now provost at Touro.
Concordia University School of Law in Boise, Idaho has a new Dean: Elena Langan, formerly of Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will become Dean on January 1, 2017. The school's announcement is here.
In March, the ABA Section of Legal Education's Council approved for notice and comment revisions to the ABA Standards 316 and 501 related to stricter bar passage rate requirements, admissions and attrition. Here are the key provisions:
Standard 316. BAR PASSAGE At least 75 percent of a law school’s graduates in a calendar year who sat for a bar examination must have passed a bar examination administered within two years of their date of graduation.
Standard 501. ADMISSION (a) A law school shall adopt, publish, and adhere to sound admission policies and practices consistent with the Standards, its mission, and the objectives of its program of legal education. (b) A law school shall admit only applicants who appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar.
Interpretation 501-3. ATTRITION A law school having a non-transfer attrition rate above 20% percent bears the burden of demonstrating that it is in compliance with the Standard.
(For those wanting more detail, a marked up copy of the Standards (showing a comparison of the old rule and the proposed new rule) and the comments submitted regarding the proposal are available here.) Several thoughtful comments have been submitted related to these proposed standards, but this post is devoted to a comment submitted by Don LeDuc, the President and Dean of the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. Mr. LeDuc has written to express his vociferous opposition to the proposed changes to ABA Standard 501 and 316.
It should not be at all surprising that Mr. LeDuc opposes any tightening of the rules regarding admissions given that he presides over the law school that admitted the statistically weakest law school entering class in history in 2015. What is surprising are his outlandish claims that it is an “unproven assertion” that bar results are tied to admission factors, and it is a “flawed premise” “that factors involved in law school admission decisions can be used to predict bar examination success.”
University of Akron Law Dean Matthew Wilson, who joined Akron in 2014, has been named interim president of the university. He will serve for 18 months as the school searches for a new leader. Akron Law Professors Sarah Cravens and Ryan Vacca have been appointed as interim co-deans.
Dean JoAnne Epps, who has led Temple Law since 2008, has been nominated to become the new provost of Temple University. The appointment awaits approval of the Temple's board of trustees. Gregory Mandel will serve as interim dean of the law school.
Professor Judith Daar, who joined the Whittier Law faculty in 1990, has been named the school's new dean. She is a graduate of Georgetown Law and focuses on health law and bioethics. She served as associate dean from 2008 to 2012.
Eric Mitnick, who has been serving as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, has been appointed Interim Dean at U.Mass. Law starting July 1. From the official announcement:
Professor Mitnick received his A.B. from Cornell University; his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan; and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University in the fields of Public Law, Political Theory, and American Politics. He also practiced law from 1991-1995, a fact extremely important to the School of Law as it seeks to fulfill the goal of producing graduates who are ready for the practice of law. Professor Mitnick is an accomplished scholar in the areas of constitutional law, rights, socio-legal and multicultural theory and is author of the book, Rights, Groups, and Self-Invention: Group-Differentiated Rights in Liberal Theory (2006).