UALR Provost Zulma Toro has announced the appointment of Michael Hunter Schwartz of Lawrence, Kansas, as the new dean of law at the William H. Bowen School of Law.
Schwartz, who comes to UALR with more than 20 years of experience in legal education, is currently associate dean for Faculty and Academic Development at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas. He is also co-director of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning and professor of law at Washburn.
Professor Paula Casey, a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, has served the law school as interim dean since July 2012. She will continue to serve until Schwartz starts on July 1. Casey will then resume her role as professor.
Prior to joining Washburn in 2006, Schwartz was a professor of law at the Charleston School of Law in South Carolina and at Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, Calif. He gained professional experience in California as an associate attorney at Graham & James law firm in Newport Beach and as an associate attorney at Hufstedler, Miller, Kaus & Beardsley law firm in Los Angeles. He practiced contracts, insurance, and construction law.
“This is a very exciting time for the UALR Bowen School,” said Toro. “The fact that we have been able to hire a nationally and internationally recognized leader in legal education will bring many opportunities for the law school to reach an even higher academic level.”
In his letter to the search committee, Schwartz said he hoped to forge successful collaborations with the faculty and UALR’s other academic units, build on the law school’s successes that leverage and promote the school’s location in the capital city, improve the school’s national and international profile, and lead major fundraising efforts for the school.
“I know that faculty and staff at the UALR Bowen School of Law are incredibly excited about welcoming Michael to our school,” said Casey. “He brings a number of innovative ideas about legal education to the table, and his experience as an organizer of the first conference on Humanizing Legal Education at Washburn Law School will certainly help improve our already strong focus on student-centered legal education. He is highly respected as an educator and advocate for helping create practice-ready attorneys, and his work in these areas will continue to strengthen our focus on legal skills education.”
Schwartz received his juris doctor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco in 1987 and his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1984.