Durham, NC - David F. Levi, dean of Duke University's law school, has been appointed to a second five-year term, Provost Peter Lange announced Tuesday.
Levi, now in the fourth year of his deanship, will begin his new term on July 1, 2012. "We're very pleased Dean David Levi will continue his strong leadership of the School of Law," said Lange. "His tenure at the school has been marked by the creation of wonderful new opportunities for law grads, an extraordinary record of developing professional opportunities for students, and close attention to faculty development. He is a respected and dynamic leader who has built on the school's strong foundation and has ambitious plans for its future."Regular reviews of school deans are conducted in the fourth year of their appointments by a committee formed by the Executive Committee of the Academic Council, in consultation with the provost. The committee takes comments from members of the Duke community into consideration in its review.
"David's reappointment is very welcome, if completely unsurprising, news," said Katharine T. Bartlett, the A. Kenneth Pye Professor of Law and Levi's predecessor as dean. "He has done a fabulous job in the four-plus years he has been at Duke -- faculty hiring has been strong, student morale is high, and there is enormous energy around various initiatives he has undertaken, including the entrepreneurship degree program and the new judicial studies center.
"David is well-respected around campus and among other law deans, and his stature among federal judges has enhanced our students' access to judicial clerkships."
Levi joined the Duke Law faculty as dean and professor of law in 2007, after a long career in public service. After serving as U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of California, he was appointed as a federal district court judge in 1990 and became chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in 2003.
Additionally, he was appointed by former Chief Justice William Rehnquist to the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in 1994 and later chaired that committee. He also was appointed to chair the Standing Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure in 2003, a position he held until 2007. He is currently a member of the Standing Committee, as well as other professional boards and committees, and he participates in a number of law reform initiatives.
Levi's close connections to the judiciary and the legal profession are evident in many of his key initiatives and achievements as dean. These include more than a dozen faculty hires; the establishment of new student externships and practical skills training programs; the launch of two new degree programs and several research centers; a marked increase in the number of graduates accepting judicial clerkships; globalization initiatives; and initiatives designed to facilitate graduates' entry into public service and private practice positions during a period of disruption in the legal economy.
Levi also regularly teaches classes at Duke Law relating to ethics, jurisprudence and legal history, and has published several articles on judicial decision-making and the legal profession.
"I am pleased to have the opportunity of continued service to the remarkable Duke Law community," Levi said. "The faculty are extraordinary scholars and teachers, and it is their dedication to their fields, their students, their colleagues and their profession that makes all the difference and makes Duke such a great law school.
"Our students are also wonderful young professionals who are determined to succeed as lawyers and civil leaders. Helping them to do so is one of the great joys of being dean.
"Our loyal and talented alumni provide daily support, encouragement and advice. Coming to know them has been a delight. Finally, our dedicated and superb staff and administrators permit us to develop in new ways and meet the challenges of a dynamic and changing profession.
"I am excited to think what we will accomplish together in the years to come, and I am grateful to be part of something so good, both in its accomplishments and aspirations."
About 800 students are enrolled full-time at Duke as candidates for one of the following degrees: the Juris Doctor (JD); dual JD and Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law (LLM); LLM for International Law Graduates; LLM in Law and Entrepreneurship; or Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD). Next summer, the law school will welcome its inaugural class of judges pursuing a Master of Laws in Judicial Studies.