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January 13, 2022


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This is the second legal writing instructor to be appointed a law school dean. A trend among independent law schools? Vermont Law School's acting President and Dean was a legal writing instructor, and the person appointed their Dean for Faculty was the head librarian.



The key to answering this question is to determine the criteria by which "merit" is assessed.

For example, no "featured publications" are mentioned in her faculty profile. A search of SSRN revealed none, though perhaps some published scholarship is there and was missed in the search. In any event, it doesn't appear this new Dean has shown a propensity to committed scholarship evidenced by meaningful scholarship and publications.

It appears she has been on the faculty there for fewer than 10 years. There is no mention in her profile of any contributions or service to the community at large.

She "worked as an employment litigation associate at major law firms in New York and Boston."

So, the question is: what were the criteria to serve as Dean of this law school that were used to screen candidates and to choose the most qualified?

One is sure that this candidate met and exceeded all of the requisite criteria and excelled at each of the relevant benchmarks.

It would be helpful, for the benefit of the law school community as a whole, to know what those criteria were, so that the law school community can move forward into progress as has New England Law.


Interesting how we do such extensive Google and SSRN searches when women are appointed to key positions, seemingly under the presumption that they are unqualified.

Other schools appoint men with little or no scholarly output, and not an eyebrow is raised. A quick Google search finds four such deans who are men. Each of those deans successfully fostered faculty scholarship and improved their respective law schools.

But, of course, it was assumed they would succeed, right?


No, AnonProf, I, for one, would be very interested to read your exploration of the relevant criteria: applicable to both men and women.

The first commment above asked: "This is the second legal writing instructor to be appointed a law school dean."

Perhaps that is the reason you go straight to an implied accusation of gender bias on anyone who dares to ask a question? Have you noticed a predominance of women in the ranks of legal writing instructors? If not, please provide a few examples of law schools where men predominate in that role.

The first comment asked: Is there a reason that legal writing instructors are seemingly making it into the rank of Dean. I asked about the relevant criteria by which these candidates were chosen. (No one said a word about gender.)

I looked for the traditional criteria (e.g., long service on the faculty, demonstrated fund raising and leadership ability, solid performance as a faculty member (teaching scholarship), a stellar pre-faculty record of accomplishment, etc.

If these aren't the current criteria, please, as requested above, describe the relevant criteria. What are the most important criteria for a prospective Dean, and in what ways did the Deans mentioned in the comments above meet or exceed those expectations?

As I said above, I have no doubt the candidate above met or exceeded each of the relevant criteria. Obviously, I'm looking at the wrong criteria. Please, tell the relevant criteria.

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