SACRAMENTO — Michael Hunter Schwartz will be the next dean of
the University of Pacific McGeorge School of Law, according to a
Sacramento Business Journal report.
Schwartz is set to replace Francis "Jay" Mootz III, who
has served in the role of dean for four years starting in 2012 and
will officially be stepping down when his contract ends this summer.
Schwartz will start in his new role in July.
"Coming to McGeorge is like coming home for me," the
Southern California native told the Northern California Record in
an emailed statement. "I am excited that I will be
working with the McGeorge faculty and staff and with everyone across
Pacific to make McGeorge the law school everyone looks to for the
brightest legal minds in the country."
While he was at the William H. Bowen School of Law in Arkansas,
Schwartz put together a law school community research summit, the
school's first-such event; hosted a legal hack-a-thon in order to
develop computer applications and websites to solve legal problems,
which was a first for that region; and “established collaborative
relationships with law schools in Taiwan, Poland and Mexico,”
according to a Jan. 24, 2017 news
release from McGeorge.
Schwartz attended the University of California Berkeley and
Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco and remembers first
stepping foot on the Pacific campus decades before now calling it his
home, according to the Business Journal report.
Schwartz has work to do to fully restore the school to its
previous level, according to recent reports.
Over a five-year stretch after 2010, according to the Business
McGeorge lost nearly half of its student population and fell out of
the U.S. News & World Report's rankings of the top law schools.
In last April's rankings, according to a news
release on McGeorge's website, the school was
12th in trial advocacy and 25th in
international law. The school was also ranked 38th in
part-time law programs and 60th on a list of the top 100
most diverse institutions.
According to the Jan. 24, 2017 news
release by McGeorge, Schwartz was recently
named the ninth-most influential person in 2016 by National Jurist
Magazine, the third time in his career he has received such
distinction. Under his guidance, Bowen was also tabbed in 2016 as the
winner of the E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award for the
school's comprehensive development professionalism curriculum.
“Dean Schwartz is a proven leader in legal education and has a
strong record for building enrollments, improving bar-passage rates,
and enhancing the reputation of law schools,” Pacific Provost Maria
in the release. “His experience with academic support and
curriculum reform, and his track record for building collaborative
relationships with law schools in other countries, will be essential
as we continue to strengthen McGeorge for the future.”