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UNC School of Law adjusting to new faculty

The School of Law at UNC recently hired six new faculty members.
The School of Law at UNC recently hired six new faculty members.

Mary-Rose Papandrea, associate dean for academic affairs, said the school hired six new faculty members — some as junior faculty members and some who have taught previously — in July who have started to take on more responsibilities within the school.

“So we’ve been getting them acclimated to the school and really taking advantage of all their skills,” she said.

Papandrea said new professors Andrew Hessick, Carissa Hessick and Jonas Monast have already began taking on major positions at the school. Andrew Hessick is the co-chairperson of the Clerkship Committee and Jonas Monast serves as the co-chairperson of the Center on Climate, Energy, Environment and Economies. Carissa Hessick serves as the co-chairperson of the Speaker’s Committee.

“(Hessick has) assembled with her (co-chairperson) a really wonderful group of people who have been coming in — they come in every Thursday — so that’s been a really great contribution to the life of the school,” Papandrea said.

In addition to growing faculty, the Dean of the Law School, Martin Brinkley, has been working to add administrators as well — though Papandrea said the dean for development left in September.

Papandrea said Brinkley has been working to strengthen relationships with the faculty by learning about their interests and plans for the year.

“He spent all summer meeting with individual faculty members for — I think it was 45 minutes each — which apparently when he tells other deans around UNC that he meets with each faculty member for 45 minutes, they can’t believe it,” she said.

Shannon O’Neil, a third year law student, said law schools need a strong leader to help the school climb in rankings and attract students.

“Given that UNC-Law historically has a really strong public interest focus, I know a lot of people had a little trepidation just because Dean Martin Brinkley doesn’t come from a public interest background, he comes from like a more corporate big firm background, but he’s just been fantastic,” O’Neil said.

Kate Elengold, one of the newly-hired professors, said she has a good impression of Brinkley after meeting with him.

“I’ve had really good interactions with him and think that he is really open and attentive in hearing from his faculty and sort of valuing what everybody brings to the table,” Elengold said.

Elengold said she is also excited about the school’s strategic planning and conversations about the future of experiential education at the law school.

Papandrea said the law school hired a consultant from the Kenan-Flagler Business School to help them come up with a strategic plan for the future of the law school.

“We’ve already been meeting weekly and we’re setting up meetings with faculty and it’s a, you know potentially I hope, a very exciting time for the law school going forward,” Papandrea said. “You know, what is our core mission, our core values, our priorities going forward.”


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