GW Law School Fall 2003
A Magazine for Alumni and Friends

As Seen by the Dean

photo of Dean Young

Changing of the Guard

It has been a great honor and a joy—most of the time, anyway—to have served the Law School as interim dean during the last year. My goal for this year was to keep the Law School on the steady upward trajectory that Deans Barron, Friedenthal, and Young set into motion. I am pleased to say I think we did that and perhaps a bit more. What successes we had this year, however, were due to the efforts of many people—the faculty, the staff, students, generous alumni, the University president, and his leadership team—who together compose the GW Law School community. I am deeply indebted to all of these people for their unfailing kindness, consideration, and support of the Law School and to me throughout this year.

It is difficult to capture an entire year in a few sentences, but some moments and facts do stand out. In August we admitted the strongest entering class of students in the school’s history. Early in the fall a record 12 percent of our 2005 graduates secured judicial clerkships, most of them highly competitive federal or state supreme court clerkships. We also added a new full-time pro bono coordinator to our Career Development Office to assist our students and graduates to pursue internships and careers with the many public interest groups based in Washington and elsewhere. By March we had completed our full-time faculty hiring with the addition of two women and two men who are all credits to our increasingly diverse and accomplished faculty.

We also closed in on the completion of ourambitious renovation and expansion of the entire Law School physical plant. In the summer of 2004 we replaced obsolete elevators in Burns, and renovated and reconfigured library space on Two Stockton and Two Burns. This summer we are nearing completion of the renovation of Four Stockton and finalizing plans for the renovation and addition of 20,000 square feet in Lisner Hall, which we will occupy in the summer of 2006 after the business school moves to its new building adjacent to Funger Hall at the end of this year.

For me, the most welcome development of this last year has been the outpouring of alumni support for all aspects of the Law School’s programs.

When he assumes his post in August, I am confident that Dean Lawrence will have enormous success building upon the strong foundation laid down by his predecessors during the last two decades, and that he will guide GW Law to new levels of excellence.

During this last year our loyal alumni and friends provided more support to the Law School than in any other year in its 140-year history. Highlights included: a seven-figure gift from Jim and Ted Pedas to fund a new chair in intellectual property and technology; a seven-figure gift from James Humphreys to fund a new chair in complex litigation and the new Center for the Study of Complex Litigation; a seven-figure bequest from Fred Stevenson to support faculty research; a seven-figure cy pres award from a class action brought by Philip Friedman against a local cable company to be used as a permanent endowment to support our local community clinics; and a quarter of a million dollars in gifts from the Law School Board of Advisors and others to name the faculty conference center for former Dean Michael K. Young.

The biggest surprise of all came at graduation in May, however, when the Class of 2005 made the first graduating class gift in the history of the Law School. More than half of the class contributed more than $10,000 to the Law School, which was matched four-for-one by anonymous alumni for a total of more than $50,000 to support the Law School Loan Forgiveness Program, which assists graduates who choose to work in lower salaried public interest positions.

The month of May brought another major announcement—the appointment of Frederick M. Lawrence, professor of law and law alumni scholar at the Boston University School of Law, as GW Law School’s next permanent dean. His appointment followed an extensive and lengthy national search led by professor Roger Schechter and the Faculty Dean Search Committee. Faculty members, alumni, and senior staff members spent countless volunteer hours interviewing, researching, and evaluating dozens of candidates in order to find just the right person.

Dean Lawrence is an outstanding choice to lead GW Law in the coming years. He is an internationally known scholar and an extraordinary teacher, and he has been a respected leader at Boston University School of Law. He has the energy, vision, and experience to reach out to our large and supportive alumni community and to work well with our dedicated staff. For his part, Dean Lawrence recently said, “I am delighted at the prospect both of becoming dean of The George Washington University Law School and of joining the faculty of the school. I am honored to be joining the George Washington community, and I look forward to helping the Law School reach even greater heights in the years ahead.”

When he assumes his post in August, I am confident that Dean Lawrence will have enormous success building upon the strong foundation laid down by his predecessors during the last two decades, and that he will guide GW Law to new levels of excellence. At his invitation, I look forward to working at his side as senior associate dean for academic affairs.

None of the successes of the past year, or the past 20 years, would have been possible without the dedication and generosity of GW Law School alumni. As interim dean, I was delighted to meet with and personally thank many donors who financially support the mission and programs of the Law School. I appreciate the confidence all of them have expressed in this institution through their giving and look forward to their enthusiastic support in the future.

Roger H. Trangsrud
Interim Dean and Professor of Law; Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law

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