Visions of Change

Occasional Notes from the Dean

It's the End of Another School Year

Our second academic year is coming to a close and it could not possibly have gone better. Our students finished their classes on April 22 and exams will conclude on May 5. Our students will then begin their summer jobs at an impressive array of government offices, law firms, and public interest organizations. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our Career Development Office, as of this writing, all 59 second-year students and 80 of 83 first-year students have secured summer employment.

So many things were accomplished this year. We held our first moot court competition, which culminated in a final round attended by most students and faculty. The first issue of the UC Irvine Law Review was published and already has received great acclaim. We held four symposia planned by our faculty on environmental law, immigration law, race and the law, and the law and virtual worlds. Additionally, the students organized and hosted a symposium on climate change.

Four faculty members delivered public lectures on the occasion of their becoming Chancellor’s Professors: Catherine Fisk, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Tony Reese and Chris Tomlins. We had two endowed lectures: the Al Meyerhoff lecture delivered by civil rights lawyer Connie Rice, and the Mark P. Robinson, Jr. lecture delivered by former Chief Judge of the Tenth Circuit and Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry. We also had dozens of other speakers as part of the student speaker series, the faculty workshop series, and as part of the activities of our many student groups.

We were visited by a site team of the American Bar Association and were extremely pleased with its report. Our application for provisional accreditation will be considered by the ABA’s Council in June.

The physical facilities of the law school continued to develop. In January, we dedicated the Mark P. Robinson Jr. Courtroom and began use of our largest classroom. Work is now being completed on 18 additional faculty offices and three more classrooms on the fourth floor of the law building.

We continued to expand our faculty. As of this writing, eight new faculty have accepted our offers to join us beginning July 1. They include: Funmi Arewa (currently a professor at Northwestern University Law School, who will teach business law and intellectual property); Sameer Ashar (currently a professor at CUNY Law School who will direct the immigration law clinic); Rachel Croskery-Roberts (currently a professor at Michigan who will teach Lawyering Skills); Jonathan Glater (an entry-level professor who will teach Statutory Analysis and Federal Criminal Law); Rick Hasen (currently a professor at Loyola Law School who will teach Common Law Analysis: Public Ordering, Election Law, and Remedies); Katie Porter (currently a professor at the University of Iowa Law School and the Robert Braucher visiting professor at Harvard Law School, who will teach bankruptcy and consumer law); Robert Solomon (currently a clinical professor and director of clinical programs at Yale Law School who will direct a community economic development clinic); and Shauhin Talesh (an entry-level professor who will teach Procedural Analysis and Insurance Law).

We have been equally successful in recruiting our next entering class, the class of 2014. As of this writing, we have offered admission to 181 students. Of these, 89 have filed their statement of intent to register. With a yield of 49 percent, we likely will be behind only Yale and Harvard Law in this measure. We still have a number of students to hear from, so we likely will be near our target of 100 students for our third entering class. This class has LSAT and GPA scores virtually identical to their two predecessor classes, and clearly will be among the top 20 entering classes in the country.

We look ahead to the next academic year with great anticipation and optimism. We will hold our first mock trial competition and our second moot court competition. For the first time, we will send students to participate in national and international moot court competitions. We will again host a number of symposia on many different topics. Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree will deliver the Al Meyerhoff lecture in October, and NYU Law Professor Barry Friedman will deliver the Mark P. Robinson, Jr. Lecture in April. We will host the first law school gala dinner on Saturday, September 17, 2011.

Most importantly, on May 5, 2012, we will have our first commencement as the inaugural class graduates. Plans are already under way for what will be a very special milestone for our law school.

Being the founding dean of the law school remains a thrilling experience. I am so grateful to my staff, my faculty colleagues, and my students for all of their hard work to create a very special law school.

April 29, 2011

Erwin Chemerinsky
Founding Dean and Distinguished Professor
University of California, Irvine School of Law