Introducing Drexel University College of Law: Drivers Wanted

I’ve been busy recently, helping construct a law school at Drexel University. So it seems appropriate to introduce the institution that stole my time (but never my affections) from Concurring Opinions. I hope to blog more about the process of builiding a law school in upcoming weeks.

What is Drexel University College of Law? It’s a new law school affiliated with Drexel University – a large research university located in Philadelphia, right next door to Penn. (Drexel students and faculty benefit tremendously from Penn’s massive investment in the University City neighborhood.) Drexel University’s recent history has been pretty remarkable. It has grown from being a solid engineering school to a major education destination in the region. The University increased its endowment from $90 million to $550 million in ten years, added a medical school, and doubled the undergraduate student body. A little over a year ago, the University announced a plan to open a law school. In the past hectic year, the College of Law was born – and it’s looking pretty good. We (notice how I move to first person plural now?) have a smart, productive and energetic faculty that is as impressive in person as it is on paper. (Puffery, anyone?) At the same time, our admissions team produced a quality entering class – despite the fact that Drexel cannot even seek ABA accreditation until next year.

Consistent with the University’s famous co-op program (“The Ultimate Internship”, according to Drexel’s registered trademark), the law school will have a experiential focus – with co-op placements available for all students. And playing on the U’s strengths, it will initially offer concentrations in health law, IP and entrepreneurial business. (We’ll leave the value of such concentrations for another day’s discussion.) What Drexel Law doesn’t have, for the next couple of months at least, is a building. But really, who needs a building?

My initial reviews of the experience of working at Drexel are pretty wonderful. I’m having a lot of fun, and I really look forward to work each day. (Farfegnugen, anyone?) Sure, little problems surface regularly, the buck stops with each of us, and each day’s agenda is subject to change. But this is entrepreneurship, on someone else’s dime. Anything is possible.

Oh. And one more thing: we’ll be doing some aggressive hiring this fall. People often talk about the amazing law faculty one could build if only one could start from scratch in today’s market. Funnily enough, that’s what we’re trying to do here. Our job annoucement is after the jump.

Drexel University College of Law, in Philadelphia, is seeking several tenured and/or tenure track faculty for positions commencing in the 2007-08 school year. The College is interested in both lateral and entry-level candidates. It seeks senior lateral candidates to serve as the directors of its Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurial Business concentrations, as well as Associate Dean for Experiential Learning. In addition, it has needs in all first year areas, including contracts, property, criminal law, torts, civil procedure, legal methods, and constitutional law, as well as in the areas of tax law, international law, health law, employment and labor law, commercial law, corporate law, evidence, and professional responsibility.

Candidates must have a demonstrated commitment to, or record of, scholarly achievement and excellence. The College expects its faculty to engage in scholarship at the highest level, and particularly seeks candidates with educational, methodological, or practice backgrounds that add particular vitality to their research. Because the College is new – having admitted its first entering class this fall – all candidates must bring a broad array of skills. Successful candidates must be excellent teachers and should be willing to invest substantial energy in service and institution building. The faculty of the College is committed to building a curriculum offering a rich mix of theory and practice. The centerpiece of this approach is a six month co-op program available to every student.

Applications are particularly encouraged from people of color, individuals with disabilities, people with all sexual and gender identities, and anyone whose background, experience, or viewpoint will contribute to the diversity of the faculty. Salaries are commensurate with experience. The University offers a full array of benefits, including those for domestic partners.

The College of Law is part of Drexel University, a leading research university with over 17,500 students in ten colleges and three schools. Over the past decade, the University has transformed itself by expanding its academic program – adding a medical school in 2002 – and radically increasing its endowment. The first entering class of the law school has a median LSAT of 156, with a 75th percentile of 158 and a 25th percentile of 154. Median GPA is 3.4. Members of minority groups make up 21% of the entering class.

To apply, please send a cover letter and curriculum vitae (with references) to Professor Daniel M. Filler. Submissions by email are preferred and should be directed to: Applications may also be mailed to: Professor Daniel M. Filler, Faculty Appointments Chair, Drexel University College of Law, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Drexel University is fully informed as to the Standards and Rules of Procedure for the Approval of Law Schools by the American Bar Association. The Administration of the University and those who will be the officials of the College of Law are determined to devote all necessary resources and in other respects to take all necessary steps to present a program of legal education that will qualify for approval by the American Bar Association prior to the graduation of any matriculating class.

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7 Responses

  1. Matt says:

    But do Co-Op readers get preferential treatment in hiring?

  2. Matt says:

    Just out of curiosity, has Dexel also increased its liberal arts offerings? As recently as 4 or 5 years ago they were dismal- a joint dept. of history, polic sci, and philosophy, for example, w/ about 5 professors total. There’ nothing wrong with focusing on engineering, of coure, and I don’t suppose it much matters to the law school, at least not directly, but if it wants to be a comprehensive university it will have (or have had) drastically increased its liberal arts offerings. (It might well be better off with a more narrow focus, though.)

  3. Dan Filler says:

    Matt, there has been a broader resurgence at Drexel. History and politics have been a joint major until this year, but they are splitting. Between the two, there are roughly 16 people tenured or on tenure track. I’m particularly pleased to note that Rose Corrigan will be joining the history and poltics department from John Jay. She’s just published a great article on Megan’s Law (“Making Meaning of Megan’s Law”) in the May 2006 issue of Law and Social Inquiry. She joins some other top-notch junior profs like Kali Gross whose book “Colored Amazons: Crime, Violence, and Black Women in the City of Brotherly Love, 1880-1910” was just published by Duke Press and Richardson Dilworth whose book “The Urban Origins of Suburban Autonomy” was published by Harvard in 2005.

  4. Matt says:

    Sounds good. I walk by the future law school nearly every day and am happy to see it come together.

  5. Anupam says:

    Best wishes, Dan!

  6. Abidoye Olurotimi says:

    im very happy that DREXEL UNIVERSITY has started LAW,i dreamt about attending the school and starting LAW there.I wish you could send a copy of the addmition form for me to also into sports.I play basketball and socerr,not by the way but proffessional in NIGERIA.i finished my first degree in please send me the form.i believe i will be a blessing to the school.Thank you so much and GOD BLESS

  7. Timur says:

    My pre-law advisor typically suggests against non-accredited law schools. However, in this case, I understand that Drexel is on its way to getting accredited. I don’t have any doubt in my mind that the law school will achieve this task, but I am curious as to what drawbacks exist when potentially entering a non-accredited institute. Can you please elaborate on the potential negatives that may exist? Thank you.