When we look back, I know that Liz Magill’s tenure as Dean, from September 2012 through March of this year, will be remembered as a time of extraordinary accomplishments. I have the honor and pleasure to take over as dean at a time when Stanford Law is in terrific shape and our faculty and students are engaged with the world in new and exciting ways.
The feature story in this issue highlights one of Liz’s most important accomplishments—the launch of the W.A. Franke Global Law Program. Twenty years ago, you could work as a lawyer in many practice areas without knowing much about international issues. This is no longer true. The Franke Program and the Global Quarter address this challenge head-on (see page 14). This program simply would not exist without Liz’s tireless efforts and partnership with Bill Franke, whose input and support were invaluable in helping turn the vision into reality. Her interview with him is insightful.
This is but one of Liz’s many accomplishments during her time here. Liz made faculty hiring a priority—and she brought top talent to campus, adding 19 faculty to our ranks. Liz also oversaw the launch of the Law & Policy Lab program—enlisting former dean Paul Brest to help make it happen. This is another “unique to Stanford Law” program, with policy practicums offering our students the opportunity to work with real clients, researching relevant societal challenges. More than 115 have been offered since the program launched.
I hope you enjoy the articles in the pages that follow. What comes through to me is the sense of community that is Stanford Law School—the students, faculty, staff, and alumni. This is something that Liz nurtured throughout her time here, and that I hope to continue.
So in this, my first Stanford Lawyer letter, I hope you’ll join me in thanking Liz Magill for her leadership and grace. I know well that hers are very big shoes to fill.
Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of Stanford Law
It is with mixed emotions that I write my last “From the Dean” letter. It has been the greatest privilege of my professional life to be at the helm of Stanford Law School these last seven years. I have learned so much here: what it means to achieve excellence without arrogance; what it is to be impatient to be better; what it means for an educational institution to be open to trying new things; and what a community looks like when we strive to treat others with respect, warmth, and decency. To the extent we have moved this institution forward in the last seven years, it fills me with deep pride to have had the opportunity to make a contribution.
The cover story for this issue of the magazine is near and dear to my heart, as is the new dean of Stanford Law School, Jenny Martinez. When we launched the Global Initiative five years ago, the prelude to the W.A. Franke Global Law Program, Jenny jumped in to co-teach the first iteration of the foundational class. An experienced litigator, she also led one of our first field study programs, hers to The Hague.
While it is bittersweet to leave this place, the law school is in exceptionally capable hands. Jenny has all of the talents of a Stanford faculty member—she is a first-rate scholar, teacher, and advocate. But in her time at the law school, she has also demonstrated the vision and judgment needed to be a great academic leader. Jenny has been a central institutional player on the widest range of institutional issues one can imagine—faculty hiring, student recruitment, diversity and inclusion, and curriculum development. She has pitch-perfect judgment, an inclusive but decisive leadership style, a clear-eyed focus on values and our core missions, a combination of vision and pragmatic know-how that is extremely rare, and she has earned the admiration and respect of all even as she has navigated the thorniest of topics. I thank you and I bid you adieu, but know that I will, like you, be watching for the exciting things to come under Jenny’s leadership.
Dean from September 2012 to April 1, 2019