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Lawrence Mitchell

Thursday, April 21, 2011 7:14 p.m.

Law professor leaves for Case Western deanship

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Cory Weinberg.

Lawrence Mitchell will leave the University next month to assume the deanship at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law.

Mitchell, who has taught at the University since 1991, withdrew his name from GW’s own law school dean search last month to pursue options at other colleges.

“Many things drew me [to Case Western], but part of it is that it’s a superb law school that has had some leadership problems in the past, and as a result is not as highly ranked as it ought to be,” Mitchell said. “Because it has some leadership issues, it’s been treading water for awhile.”

Case Western’s law school, ranked No. 61 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, has been without a permanent dean since December 2008.

”It provides me a tremendous opportunity to build an institution and create greater opportunities for students and faculty and alumni,” he said.

Mitchell’s legacy at GW includes the Center for Law, Economics and Finance, a business and financial law think tank that he founded in 2009. C-LEAF hosted a symposium – headlined by former Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. – on campus in January on the future of financial regulation.

Mitchell also practiced law at Wall Street-based firms in the 1980s, and said his real-world business experience gives him an edge as a dean.

“A dean runs a financial aspects of the law school, and is the busiest at the law school, so as a business scholar, and as someone who has experience in the real world, it helps me tremendously,” Mitchell said.

Gregory Maggs, the interim dean at GW Law School, said Mitchell’s departure is “bittersweet.”

“He is one of our most distinguished and most accomplished professors. We’re sad to see him go, but he’s first and foremost an educator, and this is a way to advance in the legal education field,” Maggs said.

Mitchell will officially leave May 31 to become dean at Case Western’s law school June 1.

GW is expected to announce its new law school dean next week.

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