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The Daily Tar Heel

Search for new law school dean begins

As Jack Boger steps down, a committee is interviewing five candidates for the post.

Daniel Crane is an associate dean and professor at the University of Michigan Law School. There, he has pushed campuswide initiatives in entrepreneurship and technology. Crane wants to utilize UNC’s location in the Research Triangle.

“At Michigan, we have an entrepreneurship clinic where law students provide legal services for entrepreneurs in the wider university,” he said in an email. “It could be an engineering student who wants to develop a new product commercially, a business student who wants to start a company, a computer science student who wants to launch a new website. I think this is an interesting model for UNC to consider.”

Martin Brinkley is a partner at Smith Anderson law firm with deep ties to North Carolina and years of professional experience in the Tar Heel State.

“There is in our profession today an increasingly urgent need to help novice lawyers bridge the gap between analytical and practical knowledge,” Brinkley said in an email.

“There is also demand for a more robust sense of professional integrity and a stronger orientation toward the public good. The legal profession is a guardian of practices that are vital to society’s well-being, practices in which all citizens have a stake.”

Robert Ahdieh is a vice dean and professor at Emory University School of Law, where his research specialization is regulatory design and its application within different types of law. He believes UNC should teach professionals in other industries, like health care and engineering, but also emphasize its own core programs.

“It’s important for Carolina law to identify current strengths: key areas where it can develop distinctive excellence,” he said. “These pillars of excellence are three, four or five things that when people think about Carolina law, they can identify those areas in which they are especially strong and known for.”

Michelle Anderson is the dean of the City University of New York School of Law. She transformed CUNY’s reputation and rankings by strengthening its standards, building new facilities and developing innovative programs. Anderson is a leading scholar on rape law. She has been published by the Oxford University Press for her work on the matter.

“I hope to engage the outstanding Carolina law faculty in a series of conversations to develop a bold strategic vision for the future of the school,” she said in an email. “The faculty has a profound commitment to teaching and to students, but the school is somewhat undervalued.”

Samuel Bagenstos is a professor at the University of Michigan Law School who has experience both practicing and teaching law. He attended UNC as an undergraduate and now specializes in constitutional and civil rights litigation. He said he wants to tackle the major problems the UNC School of Law is facing.

“We would look at the issue of how to deal with changes in legal education, particularly at declining enrollment around the country,” Bagenstos said. “We would look at changes in the structure of the legal profession to see if the curriculum is well-aligned to create leaders in law over the course of a long career.”

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