When he was named University of Michigan Law School dean at 37, Jeffrey S. Lehman, '81, became the youngest law school dean in America, and the youngest at Michigan since James Campbell was named our first dean in 1859. His near-decade at the helm has been accompanied by significant changes inside and outside of the Law School: The size and stature of the faculty has grown. The Law School's clinical programs have expanded immensely, and are now overseen by a full-time associate dean for clinical affairs. The Legal Practice Program has gained a national following and spawned many imitators. The Transnational Law course that is a graduation requirement has drawn widespread praise. The Law School now is looking ahead to a building expansion and renovation that will add 90,000 square feet to the Law Quad, ensuring that the space keeps pace with the demands of modern legal education. The Law School has been in the forefront of defending the value of racial and other diversity to the education of future lawers, and as this issue was being prepared was awaitin the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the case of a legal challenge to the Law School's admissions policies.
Lehman's youthful energy and enthusiasm have not dimmed since he became dean in 1994, and we expect that they will propel his progress as President of Cornell University just as they have propelled his progress here. His presence has influenced all aspects of Law School life.
The process of searching for Lehman's replacement began shortly after he announced last December that he would leave to become president of Cornell University (his other alma mater) on July 1, 2003. In the belief that to know the man himself is to gauge his impact, we present an edited version of the interview that editors John Fedynsky and Andy Daly of the law student publication Res Gestae conducted with Lehman earlier this year, coupled with additional questions that others have posed since then. The portions of the Res Gestae interview appear here with permission of that publication.
University of Michigan Law School,
Bound for Cornell, Dean Lehman looks back and ahead,
Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/lqnotes/vol46/iss1/3