The Position of Dean

The University of San Diego invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the School of Law. Founded in 1954, the USD School of Law is the premier law school in the San Diego region and one of the leading institutions for legal scholarship, education, and research on the west coast. One of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, the USD School of Law is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest law, taxation, and children’s advocacy. Top-ranked specialty programs include intellectual property, tax, and international law, all in the top 25% in the nation according to U.S News and World Report; the graduate tax program (LLM-Tax) is ranked #6 in the nation and #1 on the west coast according to the LLM Guide 2019.

USD Law is home to 56 full-time faculty (45 of whom are tenured or tenure-track, 6 professors in residence/practice, 5 legal writing and research professors) and 108 part-time adjuncts/visitor faculty. According to a 2018 study, USD Law faculty ranked 36th nationally (top 20%) among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 22nd nationally (top 20%) in past-year faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network. Professors recognized as among the most cited in the nation in their fields include Steve Smith (Law and Religion), Ted Sichelman (Intellectual Property), Michael Ramsey (International Law and National Security), Orly Lobel (Public Law/Employment), Don Dripps (Criminal Procedure), Mike Rappaport (Constitutional Law), and Larry Alexander (Criminal Law).

Complementing the law school’s strong academic curriculum is a broad range of courses, programs, centers, clinics, and institutes that provide students with many opportunities to gain hands-on, practical legal experience, starting with the first-year Experiential Advocacy Practicum. Through this practicum, all 1Ls learn litigation and transactional practice skills from experienced practitioners from leading firms, corporate legal departments, and agencies. At USD Law, students have opportunities to represent clients in many legal clinics, including Appellate, Civil, Education and Disability, Entrepreneurship, Federal Tax, Immigration, State Income Tax, State and Sales Tax, Veterans, Workers Rights, and Women’s Legal Clinic. Additionally,

Reporting directly to Provost Gail Baker, the Dean of the Law School is the chief academic and administrative leader for the School of Law and serves as an essential member of the University’s leadership team. The Dean will set the strategic direction for the School, with the responsibility for advancing the mission and operations of the School through supervision and decision making in areas of general administration, marketing and communication, personnel, budgeting and finance, academic programs, and fundraising. The Dean will guide a robust scholarship and research agenda and promote excellence in education, including the development of collaborative academic programs.

The University of San Diego seeks a visionary, bold, inspirational, and entrepreneurial dean for its School of Law. Candidates for the deanship must be knowledgeable of current trends in legal education and possess the imagination and the willingness to shape the future; at the same time, they should be unflinching in their commitment to the academic mission and values of USD Law, including high quality scholarship and teaching. Candidates must also be knowledgeable of the current legal job market and anticipated legal market shifts. They should have a strong desire to develop the excellence of the faculty, to recruit and support promising students, and to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Law School.

Candidates for the deanship must have a strong academic background and experience as an effective administrator, with demonstrated capacity to work alongside smart, sophisticated faculty, staff, and peer deans. They should be highly strategic thinkers and creative problem solvers, and they must have skills in raising funds externally and interacting with alumni and other supporters of the Law School. A strong moral compass is critical, and candidates should have credentials for appointment at Full Professor level.

Founded in 1949, USD is the youngest independent Catholic institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. One of only 50 universities in the world designated as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, USD strives to enhance the liberal arts in the Catholic intellectual tradition by emphasizing the importance of developing within students such skills and attributes as critical thinking, written and oral communication, innovation, integrity, and ethical leadership. Today, the University of San Diego is a nationally ranked institution with 476 full time and 522 part time faculty members and over 9,000 undergraduate, graduate, and law students. USD has a Carnegie classification of “Doctoral University: High Research Activity” and offers 42 bachelor’s degrees, 30 master’s degrees, the JD degree, five LLM degrees, and three doctoral degrees.

The University’s bold strategic plan, Envisioning 2024, capitalizes on recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as USD looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024. The stunning campus has been praised for its Spanish Renaissance architecture and breathtaking views, overlooking San Diego, Mission Bay, and the Pacific Ocean.

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Interested candidates should submit confidentially, in electronic form (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files preferred), a curriculum vitae and letter of interest to:

Jett Pihakis and Joi Hayes-Scott
Russell Reynolds Associates
Phone: (202) 654-7870

For full consideration, materials should be received as soon as possible and preferably by June 8.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.