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Dean, School of Law Irvine, CA

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) seeks a thoughtful and creative leader to serve as the next dean of its School of Law. UCI is noted as one of the most innovative American institutions of higher education. The New York Times named UCI No. 1 among U.S. universities “doing the most for the American dream.” UCI consistently ranks among the top 10 public universities in the nation, with a nearly 40% rise in applications over the last five years.

In 2008, the University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI Law) was established by visionaries who wanted to reimagine legal education and respond to the opportunities presented by the practice of law in the 21st Century. The School built its reputation on a distinctive egalitarian composition and culture among faculty and staff, an unparalleled education that features interdisciplinary study and strategic problem solving, and a commitment to enrich communities through public service. In just a few years, UCI Law gained recognition as a top law school. U.S. News & World Report ranks UCI Law 19th in academic peer reputation. The leading Sisk et al. study consistently ranks its faculty among the top 15 in the nation for legal scholarly impact. It boasts top 10 programs in clinical training, tax law, and legal writing. The School’s prominence is enhanced by a deep commitment to public service, social justice, research excellence, and experiential learning. Its next dean will be a strategic and collaborative leader with a distinguished scholarly record who will guide the School through its next chapter of growth in prominence and impact.

Founded 13 years ago, UCI Law operates an annual budget of approximately $66 million. It has grown to serve nearly 500 students and employ 53 full-time faculty and over 100 additional faculty and staff. The faculty are highly regarded for their scholarly impact and expertise in skills training and clinical education. UCI Law hosts 18 centers, institutes, and projects that encourage collaboration, contribute in-depth research, and advance policy in specific areas of law. A recent addition, the Artificial Intelligence Public Policy Institute, offers research opportunities for students and faculty to examine the spectrum of ethical and legal challenges at the intersection of law, technology, and artificial intelligence.

In addition to the J.D. program, UCI Law offers a Master of Laws (LL.M.), a first-rate legal education to lawyers, judges, government officials, and others who wish to understand the legal system and practice of law in the United States. Additionally, a new Graduate Tax Program offers a one-of-a-kind LL.M. curriculum that gives students the doctrinal depth and practical skills they need to practice tax law at the highest levels, in the United States or abroad.

UCI Law's next dean, the third in its history, has an opportunity to further advance the School’s reputation as an eminent and cutting-edge learning community, and to build upon its ethos and mission as a force for good. They will preserve and enhance the School’s established commitment to public service and social justice. And they will work with a thriving community that seeks to reform, reflect upon, and recommit to the role of law and lawyers in surfacing and abating historical and structural inequities in our region, nation, and world.

The next dean will strive for excellence, but true to UCI Law’s culture, they will succeed through innovation rather than competition or conformity. Under the Dean’s leadership, UCI Law will achieve its ambitious goals by addressing these challenges and opportunities:

  • Articulate an actionable plan that significantly advances the School’s prominence and impact;
  • Generate and expand resources needed to achieve the School’s high aspirations;
  • Continue to invest in and support equity, diversity, and inclusion as key pillars of the School;
  • Champion and support the academic and professional success of UCI Law students and alumni; 
  • Recruit and retain exceptional and highly dedicated faculty, students, and staff;
  • Further enhance a culture of collaboration, innovation, and transparency; and
  • Strengthen and expand global, national, regional, and local partnerships.

Applications will be considered immediately and until the position is filled. For further details, including full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see below. Electronic submission of materials is required.

Courtney Wilk-Mandel is leading this search with Belen Gutierrez and David Bellshaw.

The University of California, Irvine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

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