Law Schools

Daniel Rodriguez, Former 'Transformative Dean' at San Diego, to Take Helm at Northwestern Law


A former law dean at the University of San Diego who is presently on the law faculty at the University of Texas will soon take the helm at Northwestern University School of Law.

Daniel Rodriguez will start his position as NU’s new law dean on Jan. 1, the National Law Journal reports. He replaces David Van Zandt, who left Northwestern in 2010, after 15 years in the law school’s top administrative job, to become president of the New School in New York City.

Rodriguez, who was dean of USD School of Law from 1998 to 2005, is included on a list of nine transformative deans in the last decade compiled by fellow Texas law prof and law blogger Brian Leiter. The list—which also includes the “controversial” Van Zandt, an ABA Journal Legal Rebel—is provided in a July 19 post on Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports.

The post says Rodriguez “broke the deadlock on faculty appointments that had for a long time prevented USD from fully capitalizing on its attractive location and institutional resources.” Under his leadership, “USD went head-to-head with top law schools, like Northwestern,” it continues, “and won battles for faculty talent during his tenure, and USD solidified its status as one of the regional law schools from which top law schools regularly look for faculty hires.”

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