Law Schools

ABA taps one-time law school dean to head new Legal Ed Section post

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Barry Currier. Photo
from Concord Law

After a nationwide search, the ABA has chosen Barry Currier, its interim consultant on legal education, as the new managing director of accreditation and legal education for the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

The appointment was announced to the staff after the close of business Wednesday by ABA Executive Director Jack L. Rives, who announced the appointment publicly Thursday in a joint press release with Washington University law school dean Kent Syverud, chair of the section’s governing council.

The release says Currier brings a wealth of experience in legal education to the job, included two stints as a law school dean and four years as the section’s deputy consultant.

The appointment also comes with a change in job titles, the release says, to reflect the “increasing importance and scope” of the section’s role in the law school regulatory process. But the change will not affect the variety of activities and programs the section offers to support the work of law schools and their faculties and administrators, it says.

Syverud, who headed the search committee, said that Currier “has the right combination of skills, vision and determination” to ensure that the law school accreditation process allows room for innovation while continuing to provide for a rigorous education.

Currier said Thursday he was “very pleased” to have the opportunity to continue working with the section’s governing council, staff and key committees at this this crucial juncture in legal education.

“There are things we can do to make legal education more accessible and therefore better for graduates, the profession and they clients they serve,” he said.

Currier also said he understood and embraced the need for more transparency in law school admissions data, which the section is the primary source of, and pledged to continue to work to deliver that data to the public as promptly, reliably and accurately as possible.

Currier has held the interim consultant’s job since June 2012, when Hulett “Bucky” Askew announced that he was leaving the ABA. Currier has served on the faculty of four law schools and has served as dean of two and as an associate dean of another.

David Yellen, dean of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, said Currier is a “great choice” for the position.

Yellen, who has worked closely with Currier over the years, both during Currier’s two stints with the section, and in law school partnerships, says Currier is “deeply knowledgeable about legal education, a creative thinker and well-versed in the changes and challenges” confronting the profession.

Related article: “Barry Currier: Improve Legal Education Via Technology & Online Learning” (2009)

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