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School of Law Dean Search

We are no longer accepting applications for this recruitment


The University of California, Irvine, one of the nation’s top public research universities and one of the fastest-growing campuses in the world-renowned University of California system, invites nominations and applications for the Dean of the School of Law. Since its establishment in 2008, UC Irvine School of Law (UCI Law) has been on a meteoric rise, evidenced by its interdisciplinary approach to legal education, exceptional faculty, diverse student body, and ranking among the top law schools in the country on many different dimensions. UCI Law’s prominence at this early stage in its history is enhanced by its deep commitment to public service, social justice, and innovation – core pillars of the School’s identity and mission. The next Dean of UCI Law will be a visionary and creative administrator with a distinguished scholarly record who will take the helm of a law school on the rise and seize the opportunity to guide the School to new levels of success and to help shape the future of legal education.

UCI Law, founded just nine years ago, has grown to serve over 400 students, employs 47 faculty and approximately 70 staff, and operates on an annual budget of approximately $47 million. The School is ranked 28th nationally by U.S. News & World Report. Highly regarded for the scholarly impact of its faculty and expert practical training, UCI Law offers a distinct, innovative approach to legal education that features experiential learning and interdisciplinary studies. Committed to values of public service, excellence in scholarship and teaching, and fostering a diverse, inclusive community, UCI Law is home to distinguished faculty and passionate, talented, and socially conscious students. In partnership with dedicated staff and renowned faculty, the Dean will further UCI Law’s commitment to providing public and professional service opportunities and exceptional experiential and skills teaching to one of the most diverse law school student bodies in the country.

The University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine or UCI) serves approximately 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students, more than 1,230 ladder rank faculty, and over 10,300 staff members. Founded in 1965 as an interdisciplinary campus, it boasts excellence across its arts and sciences core and in its professional schools. In U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 “Best Colleges” survey, UCI climbed to ninth among all public universities and 39th out of the 1,600 universities evaluated nationwide. The campus also ranks 48th in the “best value” category. As the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), UCI combines the strengths of a major research institution with the dynamism and nimbleness of an emergent campus. In addition, its mission as a public and land grant institution plays a significant role in contributing to the advancement of the state, the nation, and the world.

The next Dean of UCI Law, only the second in its history, has an exceptional opportunity to advance the School’s prominence as a pioneer for re-envisioning legal education for the 21st century. Partnering with a close-knit campus community of renowned faculty, committed staff, and remarkable students, as well as with engaged alumni and the local community, the next Dean will strengthen the UCI Law tradition of educating lawyers for the practice of law at the highest levels of the profession. Dedicated to addressing the rapidly changing demands of the legal field and increased public awareness of disproportionate access to justice in the nation, the Dean will pave the way for UCI Law to embody a public legal education model that enhances individual lives and enriches entire communities. To achieve this, the new UCI Law Dean will address the following opportunities and challenges:

• Maintain the School’s distinctive public service mission while broadening its impact
• Enhance the overall resources to support the School’s growth
• Further strengthen the School’s commitment to diversity and inclusion
• Strengthen the culture of collaboration and innovation in teaching, scholarship, and service
• Ensure an exceptional student experience while growing the School
• Serve as a bridge to the legal community

Qualifications and Characteristics

The Search Committee strongly welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences and will consider the factors below when evaluating candidates for this important leadership role. A successful candidate should possess many of the following characteristics:

• J.D. or other terminal degree in law, minimum ten years of teaching or law practice experience with distinguished scholarly record and accomplishments equivalent to tenure at the rank of professor under the Law School’s criteria is required;
• Demonstrated commitment to the School’s values of public service and social justice;
• Transparent and visible leadership style that invites and values collaboration from multiple perspectives;
• Ability to effectively communicate UCI Law’s distinct vision for legal education to multiple diverse constituencies, both internally and externally;
• Innovative and entrepreneurial spirit;
• Strong administrative skill set with emphasis on fairness and community building;
• Capacity to navigate large public university system and to build and maintain cross-school partnerships;
• Demonstrated experience building organizations that practice and value diversity and inclusion at all levels;
• Skill set to develop a strong record of fundraising success;
• Nuanced understanding of the current challenges facing legal education and the contemporary issues facing a diverse public law student body.

Applications, Inquiries, and Nominations

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs with cover letters should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

David Bellshaw, Cati Mitchell-Crossley, and Camille Sheffield
Isaacson, Miller
1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415.655.4900
Fax: 415.655.4905

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.

Job location

Irvine, CA


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Statement addressing how past and/or potential contributions to diversity will advance UCI's Commitment to Inclusive Excellence.

  • Misc / Additional (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)