Federal Judge to Serve as Founding Dean of New Law School in Dallas
Posted Jan 11, 2012 3:08 PM CST
By Martha Neil
A federal judge has been selected as the first dean of a new Texas law school expected to open in 2014 in a renovated former department store in downtown Dallas.
Administrators of the University of North Texas Dallas College of the Law today announced that senior U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson Jr. will serve as the school's first dean, the National Law Journal reports.
He will continue on the bench for more than a year in order to meet his responsibilities as president of the Federal Judges Association, the article notes.
Appointed in the mid 1990s by President Bill Clinton, Furgeson was a litigator and partner at Kemp Smith Duncan & Hammond in El Paso for nearly a quarter-century prior to becoming a judge, according to the Associated Press and the NLJ. He earned his law degree at the University of Texas.
"Our extensive search brought us into contact with many highly regarded legal educators," said Chancellor Lee Jackson. "But Judge Furgeson, besides possessing a fine legal mind, brings the kind of broad range of practice experience we were looking for. He's a distinguished judge well known throughout Texas, a respected litigator, and he shares our vision of providing students with an affordable and accessible, high-quality legal education."
Furgeson said in a press release that “several colleagues have asked me why I would give up a lifetime appointment to take on a start-up law school during these tough economic times, when tuition is rising and demand for lawyers is declining,” reports his hometown newspaper, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
“But the prospect of pioneering a new law school that addresses these issues head-on was too challenging and exciting to pass up," the judge said.