Take me to your law leader

Law students are helping choose their next dean.

Candidates to replace Scott Matheson as dean of the S.J. Quinney College of Law have been announced and are being critiqued by students.

The applicants are coming from various law schools around the country to fill Matheson’s position when he steps down at the end of this fiscal year.

Bob Adler, professor of law and a member of the search committee, said they advertised the position and its qualifications widely.

“We did advertising in commercial forms as well as on Web services and through the American Association of Law Schools in order to receive as many qualified candidates that would be interested,” Adler said.

The search was advertised in August and interviews were held from October to mid-November.

The five finalists who are visiting campus this month come from law schools at Minnesota, Case Western, University of Connecticut, Columbia University and Cornell.

The number of candidates will be further narrowed down through screening interviews and meetings.

Law students have the opportunity to be involved in the search and decision process.

“There are two full days of interviews with the candidates,” said Jessica Peterson, third year law student and member of the search committee. “The first day, four or five students from each class meet with each individual candidate and ask questions.”

Open forums have also been held at the law school, allowing faculty and students the chance to learn more about the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses.

“The U as a whole is interested in student input, and this gives the law students an opportunity to get involved with school,” Peterson said.

Adler said the law school is looking for someone who knows legal education and would be a good public figure, not just locally but nationally.

“Not only are we looking for the candidates to enhance our reputation as a law school, but also someone who will be a good colleague, teacher and scholar,” Adler said.

“After the candidates have all visited with students and faculty, the search committee selects two or three names that will go to Vice President (David) Pershing and President (Michael) Young for further discussion,” Peterson said.

The finalists will meet with students at an open forum Wednesday.

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