Visions of Change

Occasional Notes from the Dean

No Longer Just a "New" Law School

It is difficult to believe that the 2012-13 academic year is almost three-fourths over. It is a tremendously exciting time for UCI School of Law. We are in the midst of hiring new faculty and trying to fill several additional positions. We are hard at work admitting and recruiting the Class of 2016.

We have major events in the next few months, including the Public Interest Law Fund Community Trivia Quest at The Hilton Orange County on March 16. On April 27, we will hold the inaugural Public Service Awards Dinner, at which we will honor the federal district court judges in Orange County. And on April 5, in the midst of our Admitted Students Weekend, we will have our third Moot Court finals. The prestigious panel of judges will be composed of Chief Judge Theodore McKee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Judge Bruce Selya of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and Judge Ann Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

On a daily basis, there are exciting speakers and events at the Law School. By Commencement on Saturday, May 11, we will have had two major symposia: one on Labor Law on February 22 and 23, and a student-organized symposium on Law and Economics on March 15. We just had the fourth annual Mark P. Robinson Jr. Lecture, delivered by Harvard Professor David Wilkins on February 14, and on March 18 we will have the second annual Raymond Pryke First Amendment Lecture, to be delivered by renowned lawyer Kelli Sager, from the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine.

We will have several lectures on law and business in China and the United States as part of the John S. and Marilyn Long U.S.—China Institute for Business and Law, including Harvard Business School Professor Chris Marquis on February 28, Harvard Law Professor Bill Alford on March 26, and Drake Law Professor Peter Yu on April 9. Our centers, such as the Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources and the Center on Law, Equality and Race, are having regular speakers, and we continue to have speakers each week in the wonderful student speaker series conducted by Prof. Henry Weinstein.

One need only walk through the Law School, almost at any time of day or evening, and get the sense of the exciting and vibrant place that it has become. We are looking to the future. Our staff is hard at work on a new website, which we plan to unveil later this year. And most dramatically, we are taking the first steps towards a capital campaign to raise the funds to create a new Law School building. Chancellor Michael Drake has declared that funding this is one of his top priorities for the campus.

Soon we will graduate our second class, admit our fifth class of students, and hire our sixth group of faculty. We realize that it is time to stop thinking of ourselves as the best new law school in the country and to focus on being one of the very best law schools in the United States.

February 19, 2013

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