New Dean for Boalt


After a semester of pestering students for their input, Boalt has named Christopher Edley, Jr. as the new dean. Edley will replace John Dwyer, who resigned last year amid allegations of unauthorized fingering.

A few highlights:

Edley will be the first African-American to serve as dean of a "top ranked" law school. I'm not sure where the cut-off for top ranked is, but it must be somewhere above Ole Miss and SIU.

Edley said:

"The mission of a great public law school is different from that of an elite private school because we must consider not only the excellence of our training and scholarship but also the access to and inclusiveness of our enterprise."

Now, he may have meant the same thing by "great" and "elite," and used different words to avoid redundancy, but it still sounds like he's taking a Bad News Bears approach to taking charge of Boalt. Adding to this perception is interim dean Bob Berring's excessive concern with U.S. News:

"This is a great coup for Boalt Hall and the University of California," said Berring. "I think that Chris Edley will take us to the next level of excellence, and I think it's going to be a lot of fun to be at the law school over the next few years. He's going to introduce new ideas. He's going to take seriously the fact that we should be a top five law school, and he's going to challenge the faculty, students, alumni and community to be part of that process."

The top five are currently Yale, Stanford, Harvard, Columbia and NYU. Boalt shares number 10 with Cornell. UVA and Michigan, the only other public law schools in the top ten, are ahead of Boalt at 9 and 7, respectively. Also noteworthy is that, while Boalt has a number 10 ranking, because it shares the slot with another school it's really in the top eleven, which has less of a ring to it. If Our Savior helps us oust NYU it'll clear up that incongruity and show the Cavaliers and Wolverines what's what.

But take the rankings for what they're worth. I tend to place them in the category of LSAT review courses: They wouldn't be necessary if they didn't exist. There are too many complaints about U.S. News to get into here.

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on December 14, 2003 1:25 PM.

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