Legal Education

Northwestern Law Dean Van Zandt Gets New Gig as President of New York's New School


David Van Zandt, a ABA Journal Legal Rebel who has served as the dean of Northwestern University’s law school for well over a decade will be stepping down at the end of the year to take a new job as president of the New School in Manhattan.

The eclectic New York university includes a number of well-known institutions, and those in charge of the search for a new president saw Van Zandt’s ecumenical approach to Northwestern’s law school, which is now more closely allied with its business school as a result of his work, as a plus factor, according to the New York Times.

Van Zandt, 57, is also known for boosting the qualifications of Northwestern’s law students, requiring most applicants to be interviewed and seeking applicants with work experience and the ability to work well within a group, as many lawyers must do in practice or other job settings.

A Yale Law School graduate and law review editor there, he clerked with Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court before working as a Davis Polk & Wardwell associate in New York and joining the Northwestern faculty. He became law school dean in 1995.

Additional coverage:

Am Law Daily: “Northwestern Law Dean David Van Zandt Named President of The New School”

National Law Journal: “Northwestern’s Van Zandt to lead The New School in New York‎”

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