Thursday, July 12, 2007


Listening to the Dixie Chicks' Home (an album that many country music stations still refuse to play) reminded me to post a small observation about deans, law schools, and regional connections. So here goes.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting two fellow new law school deans, Bob Klonoff of Lewis & Clark and Tom Romig of Washburn. In each instance, these deans were returning to their native roots. Bob is a Portlander; likewise, Tom is returning to his home state as dean.

For my part, Kentucky is not quite Georgia, though I have found it a wonderful surrogate. Local menus are slightly exotic; I had never encountered the hot brown or burgoo until I moved to Louisville. People here really do serve, and happily consume, chicken-fried chicken. Tea comes presweetened, and never out of a can.

And this is to say nothing of the voices that surround me. Kentucky, simply put, sounds like home. From Stephen Foster to the Kentucky Homefront, there is an unbroken musical tradition that welcomes me to my new Kentucky home.

My MoneyLaw point is simple: Not all law school deans enjoy a direct, personal tie to their schools. But to the extent that the task of a dean involves making connections with her or his school's students, alumni, and surrounding community, a local or regional connection is a huge advantage. It feels good to come home.

And with that, I resume listening to the Chicks.

The Dixie Chicks cover Patty Griffin's "Truth No. 2" (.mp3 file available via Chicks Rock! Chicks Rule!)


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