Thursday, April 01, 2010

Chapman Dean Search--No Kidding!

We here in the sober and serious groves of academe have no time for foolishness, April 1st or not. So while you may think I jest in claiming that some very lucky person will soon get to become the new Dean of Chapman University School of Law, I assure you that I jest not. This good news comes straight from Chapman's Dean Search Committee (on which I happen to serve).

Please consider this call for applications yourself, or share it with someone else you think might be ready a life in paradise, helping our law school speed toward its bright future.




March 24, 2010

The Chapman University School of Law invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the School of Law.


The Chapman University School of Law opened in 1995 and is located in the Historic Old Towne district in Orange, California. The School of Law is housed in Donald P. Kennedy Hall, a state-of-the-art facility completed in 1999. Chapman is fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

The School of Law stands at an exciting and pivotal moment in its history. It already enjoys excellent students, accomplished faculty and outstanding facilities. The School of Law now seeks a dynamic intellectual leader to build on Chapman’s many successes and expand and improve its national reputation. The Chapman University School of Law seeks a Dean who will embrace and match our ambition to be recognized as one of the top 50 U.S. law schools.


In 2009, the School of Law enrolled 547 J.D. and 76 LL.M. students. The median LSAT was 158 and the median G.P.A. was 3.43. According to the most current ABA data, this ranks Chapman #87 in median LSAT and #79 in median G.P.A. among ABA approved law schools.

Chapman students are increasingly successful on the California Bar Exam. Chapman’s first time takers passed at a rate of 81% on the July 2009 exam, earning a pass rate ranked 9th out of the 20 California ABA approved law schools (ahead of Pepperdine and the University of San Diego). Chapman’s bar passage rate on the July California Bar Exam has increased year-over-year for each of the past five years: 59% in 2005; 63% in 2006; 72% in 2007; 77% in 2008; and 81% in 2009.

Chapman’s students are extraordinarily happy with their law school experience. In the results of the Princeton Review’s annual survey of law students reported in the “Best Law Schools,” Chapman consistently ranks among the top ten law schools in the nation:

• Best Classroom Experience—#2 in 2010; #3 in 2009; and #7 in 2008.
• Best Quality of Life—#3 in 2010; #3 in 2009; and #1 in 2008.
• Best Professors—#7 in 2010; #7 in 2009; and #5 in 2008.
• Most Diverse Faculty—#9 in 2009.

Chapman’s admissions program is highly competitive. Applications for the Law School have increased 7% and 19% in the past two years and Chapman has admitted only 26% (2008) and 31% (2009) of its applicants.


The full-time faculty has grown in size to 48 full-time faculty members in 2009-2010. The expansion of faculty has included high impact lateral appointments and top caliber entry-level, visiting and program faculty members. The student/faculty ratio has fallen during this period to 8.9, one of the five lowest in the nation.

Also during this time, the Law School reformed its Legal Research and Writing Program from an adjunct model to full-time instructors with long-term renewable contracts, and greatly expanded its academic programs, including new certificate, LL.M., joint degree, summer abroad, and clinical programs.

Many of Chapman’s law faculty hold advanced degrees, including Ph.D.s from Oxford, Arizona, Virginia, Harvard, Minnesota and Claremont, LL.M.s or other advanced legal degrees from Yale, NYU, Pace, Michigan, Chapman and the University of Stockholm and Masters Degrees in diverse subjects such as Business Administration, Social Work, Philosophy, Economics, International Service, Latin American Studies and Political Science. The faculty also includes a Nobel Laureate and five former U.S. Supreme Court clerks who clerked for six different Supreme Court Justices.

Chapman professors excel as legal scholars, real world advocates, and passionate educators, representing a wide range of specialty areas and ideological views. The full-time faculty includes numerous chairpersons and committee members for important ABA and AALS committees, three members of the American Law Institute (one elected, one life and one ex-officio), a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, a member of the Advisory Board to Lexis/Nexus Publishing, a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, a member of the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council, several former partners in National Law Journal “Top 250” law firms, and the former President and COO of Village Roadshow Pictures.

Chapman’s law faculty includes numerous nationally-recognized book and casebook authors. The faculty is actively engaged in producing top scholarship. Faculty productivity has ranked in the top 50 U.S. law schools for the last four years. Chapman currently ranks #45 in “Total New Downloads” and #37 in “Total # of Downloads (all time)” on the Social Science Research Network among U.S. law schools.

The School of Law is home to the Center for Global Trade & Development, the Center for Lawyering & Trial Advocacy and the Center for Land Resources. Chapman offers its law students the opportunity to complete emphasis programs in Entertainment Law, Advocacy and Dispute Resolution, Environmental, Land Use & Real Estate (ENLURE), International Law and Tax Law. A joint JD/MBA is offered in conjunction with Chapman's acclaimed George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics, and a new JD/MFA in Film & Television Producing provides additional opportunities for hands-on learning in conjunction with Chapman's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

Although the school is relatively new, its programs have thrived. Chapman’s tax law program recently debuted in the 2010 U.S. News & World Report Law School Tax Law Specialty Rankings as a Top 25 tax law program. Chapman entered the rankings at number 17.

Chapman’s faculty also oversee a wide array of clinical opportunities, including the following: the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence; the Alona Cortese Elder Law Clinic; the Ninth Circuit Appellate Clinic; the Family Violence Clinic; the Tax Law Clinic; the Entertainment Contracts Law Clinic; the Appellate Tax Advocacy Clinic; and the AMVETS Legal Clinic.


Orange County offers one of the best places to live in the United States. It is the country’s fifth largest county with more than 3 million people residing in many richly diverse ethnic, social, intellectual and environmental communities in 800 square miles. It boasts a diverse economy—so large that, if it were a nation, it would rate as the 32nd largest GNP internationally. And the weather is great, with an average of 258 days of mostly sun and average lows in January of 45 degrees.
Orange County includes numerous major attractions, including Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Angel Stadium (home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), the Honda Center (home of the Anaheim Ducks), and the Orange County Performing Arts Center, as well as some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Short drives lead to the beauty and recreational opportunities of the Pacific Ocean, the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains, low and high deserts, Los Angeles, San Diego and several major and international airports.


The success of the Law School is integral to the success of Chapman University. Chapman University encompasses seven schools and colleges: Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences, George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics, Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Schmid College of Science, College of Performing Arts, School of Law and College of Educational Studies. Named to the list of top universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review, Chapman University enrolls more than 6,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students.
The Dean reports to the Chancellor of the University and serves as a key member of the Deans’ Council. The Dean provides leadership in all aspects of operation and evolution of the Law School. This includes academic affairs; administration and planning; student recruitment, enrollment management and financial aid; financial management and institutional advancement. The Dean is charged with increasing the quality and quantity of the academic, certificate and clinical programs and, enhancing the visibility of the Law School so that its reputation reflects the strong objective measures of quality already achieved. In addition, working closely with the Chancellor and the President, the Dean will be responsible for fund-raising and strengthening the link between scholarship and classroom excellence.


Strong candidates will be superior managers and leaders who can develop and implement a clear vision for the school; who are able to develop a strong sense of community; who are respected by the faculty, trustees, alumni, and in the legal education community as a whole; who are effective fundraisers; who are strongly committed to diversity among faculty, students, and staff; who are able to foster scholarly productivity and teaching excellence; excellent communicators; and who are highly effective at attracting, retaining, and developing faculty, students, and staff.


Chapman University is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to providing career opportunities to all people, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status. The Dean Search Committee welcomes application and nominations of women and minorities.

The ten-member Dean Search Committee is chaired by Dr. Menas Kafatos, Vice Chancellor for Special Projects, and Dean, Schmid College of Science. The Committee invites applications, nominations and inquiries immediately. The Committee will conduct the search with confidentiality of all candidate information. References will not be contacted and candidacies will not be made public without the prior knowledge and approval of the candidate. The review of applications and nominations will continue until the position is filled.

All nominations and applications should be sent via email to:

Chapman School of Law Dean Search Committee
Dr. Menas Kafatos, Chair of the Search Committee
c/o Ms. Erika Curiel, Office of the Chancellor
Memorial Hall
One University Drive
Orange, California 92866


Phone: 714-997-6736



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exiting Dean John Eastman helped Chapman develop several excellent clinics and markedly improved its reputation in the legal community.

I expect that the number of applications will significantly increase once the next round of US New rankings is released later this month. Chapman is likely to make its debut in the top 100.

John Eastman is leaving some big shoes to fill.

4/05/2010 3:16 PM  
Blogger Ani Onomous said...

I notice the commitment to ideological diversity, and also didn't catch any reference to religion. Is the search committee genuinely agnostic -- such that a liberal atheist would have an equal opportunity for appointment?

4/14/2010 5:47 PM  

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