Dean Rubin to step down June 30

Rubin EdEdward L. Rubin has announced that he is stepping down from his position as dean of Vanderbilt University Law School effective June 30. Dean Rubin will continue to teach and write as a member of the faculty. 

Rubin became the law school’s 14th dean and the first John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law in July 2005. A highly respected public law scholar who came to Vanderbilt from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Rubin said his main goal as dean was to “develop a new approach to legal education for the 21st century.” He worked with faculty and alumni to enrich existing courses, develop a supportive administrative system and ensure the high employability of graduates.

"Ed came to Vanderbilt with a very clear and bold vision of what he wanted to accomplish, and his success is evident and measurable,” said Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, a professor of law who, as provost, was instrumental in recruiting Rubin. “We are fortunate that Ed will continue to make enormous contributions to the law school as a distinguished member of the faculty.”

During Rubin’s four years as dean, the law school added two new first-year courses, “The Life of the Law” and “The Regulatory State,” and began the process of updating a number of the existing first-year courses. In addition, the law school completely reorganized the upper-class curriculum around programmatic concentrations leading to more intensive and interactive third-year experiences for the students. It introduced an elective that will serve as a platform for several of these concentrations. The law school also launched a Ph.D. in Law and Economics, which is the first offered by any American law school.

“Through these efforts, we’ve acquired the reputation in the legal academy as a leader in modernizing the law school curriculum,” said Rubin.

“Ed has added significantly to the reputation of the law school as a center for curricular innovation, teaching and scholarship,” said Provost Richard McCarty.

Other accomplishments during Rubin’s tenure as dean include the addition of 16 new faculty members; a 40 percent increase in student applications; a rise in median LSAT scores; the creation of a new admissions program through which applicants for admission are interviewed by alumni; a jump in the U.S. News and World Report ranking from 17 to 15; and a substantial increase in the school’s annual fund.

During the past four years, the law school also received the two largest gifts in its history. The first was a $2.9 million settlement from Branstetter Stranch and Jennings that endowed the Cecil D. Branstetter Litigation and Dispute Resolution Program. The second was a pledge of almost $6 million to endow the Law and Business Program.

“I want to thank our faculty, staff and alumni for their part in making Vanderbilt the wonderful place it is today and will be in the future,” said Rubin. “It’s been my pleasure to work with such a talented group and engage in the law school’s initiatives.”

Contact: Amy Wolf, (615) 322-NEWS –

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