News & Events
Posted June 26, 2013

University of Virginia Reappoints Dean Paul Mahoney

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University of Virginia School of Law Dean Paul G. Mahoney has been appointed to a second term.

The University of Virginia has appointed Law School Dean Paul G. Mahoney to a second term.

Contact: Mary Wood

"Dean Mahoney has consistently provided the kind of leadership necessary to grow the School of Law and enhance its reputation as one of the nation's best," said Executive Vice President and Provost John Simon. "Over his tenure as dean, he has advanced the school beyond our expectations and has earned the respect of faculty, students, staff and alumni. Dean Mahoney presents a compelling vision for the future of law at UVA, and I am confident he will guide the school to greater heights of excellence."

In his first term and during one of the toughest recessions in U.S. history, Mahoney led the School of Law's efforts to keep alumni participation in annual giving at more than 50 percent – a record the school has held for seven years now. At the close of the Law School's capital campaign in 2012, the school surpassed its fundraising goal of $150 million by more than $20 million.

Mahoney also helped shepherd several of the school's new curricular innovations to fruition, including the launch of the Program in Law and Public Service, an effort to provide support and mentoring to students seeking careers in public service.

During Mahoney's term, which began in 2008, the Law School launched the Innocence Project Clinic, which has helped bring national attention to systemic problems in the criminal justice system, and the Transactional Law Clinic, which allows law students to advise Darden School of Business students on their startup companies.

This spring, the Law School announced that the nationally renowned "West Memphis Three" lawyer Stephen Braga will lead the revamped Appellate Litigation Clinic.

In the fall, the school will offer a revised externships program that will provide students with hands-on legal experience and access to a network of practicing attorneys while still in law school and for credit.

During Mahoney's tenure, the school has increased career counseling services and resources for students, particularly for those interested in public service. The Law School's range of public service fellowships and its loan forgiveness program have dedicated millions of dollars to getting students' careers off to a promising start in legal aid offices, prosecutors' and public defenders' offices, federal agencies, courts and nonprofit organizations across the country.

Even while helping to grow the school's endowment, curriculum, faculty and the level of service to students, Mahoney has overseen an operation focused on keeping costs as low as possible for students. The Law School was the only top-10 law school recognized for its administrative efficiency in a recent ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

"The legal profession and legal academia face substantial challenges and uncertainties, and I look forward to helping the Law School address them during a second term as dean," said Mahoney, the David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law and Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law. "My goals for the Law School are to prepare our students to succeed no matter how the economy and the professional landscape change, to keep building a faculty of exceptional teachers and scholars, and to continue to provide the finest student experience in American legal education."

Simon appointed a committee in the spring, chaired by George Rutherglen, the John Barbee Minor Distinguished Professor of Law and Earl K. Shawe Professor of Employment Law, to conduct the reappointment review for Dean Mahoney. Other members of the review committee were: Alex Johnson, Kerry Abrams, A. Sprightley Ryan, Alexandra Aurisch, Jordan McKay, Roger Kimmel, Jason Trujillo and Maurie McInnis.

"At the Law School, we have many things to be grateful for: the generosity of our alumni, the good will of our students, the efficiency of our administration," Rutherglen said. "Those of us who have served here for some time know that most of all we should be grateful for the deans who have led the Law School over the last several decades. Each has been the right person at the right time who has done the right thing for the institution. Dick Merrill, Bob Scott, John Jeffries are only a few of the deans who have successfully led the Law School in recent times. Paul Mahoney is true to this tradition.

"This is the basic finding of the review committee appointed by the provost, but it is universally shared by our colleagues at the Law School — among the staff, the administration, and the faculty — and by our students and our alumni. There is no better dean of any law school anywhere in this country. 

"We appreciate what Paul has done in his first term as dean, for the Law School and for the University, and we look forward to what he will accomplish in his next term," Rutherglen continued. "The Law School faces challenging issues in difficult times — for law schools, for the legal profession, and for higher education — but we are confident that Paul will lead us to rise to the occasion. He has made our achievements as an institution more than the sum of our individual contributions, important though those are. This is the mark of a true leader."

Reported by Rebecca Arrington