Law School trims dean candidate pool

The nomination pool for the next dean of the GW Law School has been whittled down from 350 to 100 possible candidates.

The review committee tasked with finding a replacement for Dean Frederick Lawrence will be looking for a high-profile candidate with the means to boost the program’s reputation to the Ivy League level.

The Law School is already one of GW’s top programs and Lawrence – who left last week to assume the presidency at Brandeis University – was widely acknowledged as a go-getting leader who helped improve the Law School’s ranking, which now stands at 20th in the country.

“With continued strong leadership and a dean committed to bringing in new resources and further enhancing its national visibility, our Law School has the potential to be mentioned one day in same breath as the very top handful of schools in the nation,” University President Steven Knapp said.

While the final selection will not be announced for months, Knapp said the new dean will fill an important and influential role in the program.

Roger Trangsrud, the chair of the search committee, said the process to select Lawrence’s successor is only on its second step, adding that the committee will settle on its final group of candidates in the spring.

Trangsrud said the nomination pool is remarkably diverse, with a large number of tenured professors at prestigious law schools and a smaller group of judges and partners at law firms. Because the position was widely advertised, the Law School has also received applications from a small group of impressive professors who teach law overseas.

“The dean selection committee is impressed by the strength of the pool this year,” Trangsrud said.

Gregory Maggs, the former senior associate dean of academic affairs, took on the position of interim dean last week while the search committee hunts for a new leader.

The next step in the process is to invite about 20 to 25 of the top candidates to a one-hour screening interview at an off-campus location this month and into January.

The committee will decide on its top candidates and propose its choices during a full-time faculty meeting in March. Once the faculty votes on its top candidates, Knapp and GW’s Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Lerman will meet to decide who to choose for the position.

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