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January 26, 2011


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Orin Kerr

"Why on earth would you like to be a Dean?"


Orin, I'd assume it's because it's prestigious and you get to deal with students clamoring to get into and through law school instead of clients and endless contract documents.

Alfred Brophy

Yes, Orin, that's the absolute first question we should ask! I'm not sure what answer I want to hear....

Bill Turnier

I have never understood why anybody would want to be a dean. It is more of an administrative job than being a partner in a good firm and pays a fraction. Nonetheless, I am glad that some do serve. And if you did not come from the faculty of the school, returning to the faculty after a term as a dean can be problematic on occasion. It is easier if the dean came from the faculty and returns to it at the end of the term.

Richard Gershon

I have always taken pleasure out of helping my colleagues succeed. Anyone who does this for prestige or power is doing it for the wrong reasons.

Nancy Rapoport

Actually, about 90% of being a dean is rewarding, if the dean gets his or her jollies from helping other people achieve their goals and from building an institution. The dirty little secret of deaning is that working with alums and fundraising are two of the most fun parts of the job.

What I liked about deaning was that it combined the skill sets of good lawyering with a setting that I far preferred to private practice.

The worst part of being a dean is knowing way too much about certain people and realizing that you'll never be able to forget what you know.


Isn't the answer to the "why" question obvious from the empirical evidence? Someone has to do it . . .

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