A Year of Change and Opportunity

12.30.2011 | Law

A letter from Dean Paul E. McGreal:  

The last year has been one of change and opportunity at the University of Dayton School of Law. 

Since I joined the University of Dayton School of Law as dean in July 2011, I have been privileged to meet enthusiastic alumni around the country. It has been uplifting to talk to graduates who are interested in participating in our Externship Program and in the admissions and enrollment processes by helping to recruit strong students to the School of Law. I’m also excited about our alumni’s eagerness to help UDSL move forward. 

Our first priority over the coming year is to redouble our efforts in preparing our students both to take the bar exam and complete successful job searches. Our graduates face new demands in these two areas, and we must help them rise to the challenge. First and foremost, our faculty is working on plans to expand and strengthen our academic success resources to help students in the classroom and on the bar exam. 

Career Services Efforts

Though the job market continues to be challenging, our Career Services Office is working hard to provide the guidance and resources to help students and alumni meet their career goals. 

We are pleased to report that 86 percent of the members of the Class of 2010 has secured employment. We know that 90 percent those jobs are positions for which their University of Dayton School of Law degree was either mandatory or a preferred qualification, and that 90 percent of those employed graduates are working full-time.

Our Career Services Office is working to assist the growing number of graduates who join small firms or launch their own solo practices. As part of this effort, we plan to create an online support network for alumni working in small or solo practices, providing a place where graduates can mentor and seek advice from one another. Another initiative under consideration is the creation of a solo practice incubator to provide space, resources and mentoring for alumni beginning their legal careers.

In today’s challenging marketplace, the networking, externship opportunities, scholarship support and advice provided by alumni are more critical than ever to our students. 

Around Keller Hall

This fall, the University of Dayton School of Law joined 14 other law schools in a new consortium, Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, aimed at changing legal education in the United States. Our participation will help the School of Law improve our curriculum and provide faculty with opportunities to play a leading role in legal education reform.

The School of Law also created Francis J. Conte Fund for International Studies to support international studies at UDSL, as part of the University of Dayton’s global learning initiative. Named in honor of the late Dean Fran Conte, the fund will help bring international law experts to UDSL and provide financial support for students studying abroad. 

This year, the School of Law attracted many prominent legal experts, providing numerous opportunities for alumni, friends, faculty and students to engage in a dialogue about some of the most important legal issues of the day. Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of the BP and 9/11 victim compensation funds, discussed his work overseeing those unique programs. Michael Perry, the Robert W. Woodruff University Chair at Emory University School of Law and the University of San Diego’s University Distinguished Visiting Professor in Law and Peace Studies, co-taught with Professor Richard Saphire a weeklong class on capital punishment and same-sex marriage.

The Program in Law & Technology continues to bring national experts to campus, including F. Scott Kieff, a professor at George Washington Law School and the Ray & Louise Knowles Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and Mark D. Janis, the Robert A. Lucas Chair of Law and the director of the Center for Intellectual Property Research at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. 

The Project for Law & Business Ethics examined the role of women in the governance of corporations and other business entities at its symposium, Perspectives on Gender and Business Ethics: Women in Corporate Governance. The symposium featured presentations by Douglas Branson, the W. Edward Sell Chair in Business Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law; Barbara Black of the University of Cincinnati College of Law; Joan MacLeod Heminway of The University of Tennessee College of Law; and Darren Rosenblum of Pace Law School. 

The Gilvary Symposium on Law, Religion & Social Justice brought together legal experts and child advocates to discuss how to best protect the interests of the more than one million children touched by custody decisions each year. The program included remarks by Judge Glenda Hatchett and Katharine T. Bartlett, the A. Kenneth Pye Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law. 

Student News

In May, the School of Law celebrated the conclusion of another academic year with commencement. The class of 2011 included 181 students, 170 who received a J.D. and 11 who received a Master of Laws, or LL.M.

Then over the summer and fall, we welcomed 177 new students to the School of Law. They come from 28 states and from 95 undergrad institutions. The University of Dayton is our top “feeder school,” with 16 Flyers continuing their education at the School of Law.

The summer Law and Leadership Institute continues to grow, with 55 high school students participating in this year’s program. This statewide program is designed to help high school students develop leadership skills, confidence and vision, as well as receive an introduction to the study of law.

Our law students demonstrate inspiring dedication to, and passion for, community service, as they show every day that the Catholic Marianist spirit is an integral part of life at UDSL. In recent years, we have honored students who contribute at least 50 hours of community service during their time in law school. One-third of the Class of 2011 earned this honor, donating almost 12,000 hours of community service, shattering previous hours contributed by other classes.  

In addition, we awarded the Lisa A. Kloppenberg Public Interest Award to eight students who spent their summer interning with nonprofit organizations and providing pro bono assistance to poor and marginalized members of society.

Vital Alumni Support

Competition for talented students is tough and a UDSL education would not be possible for many students without the generous support of our benefactors who sustain endowed scholarships. These scholarships are invaluable to the success of the School of Law. They help us attract bright students and strong faculty members and allow us provide an outstanding legal education. This year, we celebrate the establishment of several new endowed scholarships, including the Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP Scholarship and the Richard R. Boykin Scholarship.

The Alumni Association continues to provide vital support to the School of Law and our students. This year, the association increased the number of its actively involved members by establishing committees to organize and support alumni and students. The new committees include the Young Alumni Council, which is dedicated to supporting recent graduates. 

It is exciting to know that so many alumni attended UDSL events on and off campus over the past year. Our largest alumni event, Alumni Weekend, attracted several hundred grads to Dayton in May. This year’s Distinguished Alumnus was Terry Miller ’77, the general counsel of the London 2012 Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympics Games. Thomas Hurney Jr. ’83 received the Francis J. Conte Special Service Award, and Jeff Rezabek ’97 received the Steven E. Yuhas Alumni Special Service Award. 

I hope to see many of you at the 2012 Alumni Weekend, on May 18 and 19

I am deeply grateful for your support and look forward to working with many of you in the years to come.

Paul E. McGreal
Dean and Professor of Law