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UM Law Dean Search Continues

The University of Montana seeks a Dean to lead its School of Law as it begins the second century of its distinguished history.

Founded in 1911, the School of Law is an established leader in legal education, preparing students for serving people in the practice of law through effective integration of theory and practice.  Our curriculum begins with an innovative skills-based law-firm program in the first year, continues with intensive trial and transactional simulation courses in the second year, and finishes with a required third-year clinical program offering professional placements at both in-house law clinics and government and public-interest law offices. Beyond preparing students for practice, our curriculum emphasizes areas of law significant to the Rocky Mountain West including natural resource law, environmental law, and Indian law.

At a challenging time for legal education, the success of Montana’s model in training and placing lawyers has earned it recognition as one of the best-value law schools in the nation. Our strengths allow us to attract a small, diverse, talented, and tightly knit student body, and have made us one of a handful of law schools to attract significantly more applicants this year than last. As Montana’s only law school, we enjoy a close connection to the Montana bench and bar.

We work and study in a spacious, state-of-the-art facility, and live and play in the heart of the Northern Rocky Mountains. Missoula is a small, vibrant city surrounded by mountains, wilderness, and clear, cold rivers, including the famous Blackfoot. The educational, medical, and cultural hub of the region, Missoula offers a rare blend of outdoor adventure, big-city culture, and Montana’s relaxed way of life. 

Update from the Search Committee

The search for a new dean for the University of Montana School of Law continues.  Provost Perry J. Brown and President Royce C. Engstrom, working with the law dean search committee, identified a high-caliber first choice for its deanship who was set to accept until he was nominated to a high-level position in the Obama Administration. With great regret, the candidate was unable to come to Montana at this time.  As a result, Provost Brown has decided to continue the current search and, if need be, appoint an interim dean when Dean Russell formally concludes her tenure as dean and returns to teaching and writing as a member of the faculty.

School of Law Dean Role Description:

The Dean’s leadership responsibilities include:  implementing the School of Law’s mission by promoting excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service; developing and maintaining supportive relationships with alumni, the legal and business communities, and tribal, state and federal governments; working effectively with the School of Law’s faculty, staff, and students; managing its budget; and executing Law School affairs in accordance with all applicable laws, accreditation requirements, and Board of Regents and University policies.

Required Experience

The successful candidate must hold a Juris Doctor degree or its equivalent from an ABA-accredited law school, or a comparable degree from a foreign law school, demonstrate the ability to lead the School of Law’s faculty, staff, and students, and have the following additional qualifications:

  • Distinguished professional achievement in legal practice;
  • Successful administrative experience, including personnel supervision and financial administration;
  • Strong listening, communication, and consensus-building skills;
  • A commitment to legal scholarship; and
  • A commitment to diversity.

Preferred qualifications include: commitment to innovation in legal education; potential for recruiting and retaining talented students, faculty, and staff; successful fundraising experience; and a high probability of being tenured in the School of Law.

The Dean’s leadership responsibilities include:  implementing the School of Law’s mission by promoting excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service; developing and maintaining supportive relationships with alumni, the legal and business communities, and tribal, state and federal governments;  working effectively with the School of Law’s faculty, staff, and students; managing its budget; and executing Law School affairs in accordance with all applicable laws, accreditation requirements, and Board of Regents and University policies.

For full consideration of the next review phase, applications must be submitted to the University of Montana no later than 5PM MST on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Later reviews will continue until the position is filled.  Please click here to visit Human Resources for the full position listing and application instructions. 

Complete applications must include:

  • A statement of interest;
  • A current résumé or CV;
  • And contact information for at least three references.

Applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, ability, and perspectives are encouraged to apply.  AA/EEO/ADA/Veterans Preference Employer

UM Law Dean Search Committee

Roberta Evans, Chair
Dean
University of Montana Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences

Pamela Bailey
Attorney

Jon Byington
Assistant Professor of Law
University of Montana School of Law

Michael Frank
CEO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana

Elaine Gagliardi
Professor of Law
University of Montana School of Law

Stacey Gordon
Director of the Law Library and Assistant Professor of Law
University of Montana School of Law

Larry Howell
Professor of Law
University of Montana School of Law

Lisa Marie Hyslop
Registrar
University of Montana School of Law

Anthony Johnstone
Associate Dean and Assistant Professor of Law
University of Montana School of Law

Soazig Le Bihan
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
University of Montana School of Law

Brianne McClafferty
Student
University of Montana School of Law

John Mudd
University of Montana Foundation

Robert Phillips
Phillips Haffey PC

Lindsay Thane
Student
University of Montana School of Law

Hillary Wandler
Associate Professor of Law
University of Montana School of Law

Martha Williams
Assistant Professor of Law
University of Montana School of Law