Message from the Dean
This summer, after ten years on the faculty at Oregon Law, I began my service as Dean. I am deeply grateful to all of you who have inspired and encouraged me to take on this new endeavor, and I am excited about what we can accomplish at the law school.
As the 20th dean of Oregon Law, I look forward to working with our acclaimed faculty and talented administration and staff to continue to provide our students with the best possible educational opportunities in the law. Much has changed in the legal profession and in higher education, since I first joined the Oregon Law faculty in 2001. In order to succeed in this new world, Oregon Law has identified five key areas in which we will invest our time and resources:
1) We are making a considerable investment in upgrading the services we provide to our students in their career and professional development.
2) We are working to attract an expanded faculty in order to provide the highest quality legal education possible.
3) We are increasing our investment in strengthening our alumni network.
4) We are taking advantage of the interdisciplinary opportunities of being at a world-class research university so that students graduating from Oregon Law have the tools that they will need forwarding an evolving and complex practice.
5) We are investing in opportunities for students to develop their skills while they are at Oregon Law. Not just the skills that we teach them at the very beginning of law school. But the skills throughout the curriculum that will carry them throughout their professional careers.
We must rely more and more on private giving in order to support these initiatives. Student tuition and state support simply do not provide us with the resources necessary to realize the potential of Oregon Law. The gifts of supporters and friends, no matter what size, can assist Oregon Law to realize its potential as a leader in the state, the nation, and the world.
Oregon Law provides a top notch education while remaining small enough to transform individual students’ lives. While many schools, including the undergraduate program at the University of Oregon, have grown in recent years, we have intentionally maintained our class size of 180 J.D. students in each entering class. Our entering students – the class of 2014 – bring a wealth of experience and energy, and they will be joining a community of talented students and world-class faculty, all of whom are committed to learning about how to engage the law to make a difference.
It’s no secret that Oregon Law is a great place to study, to learn, and to do. Our students work within multiple programs nationally recognized for their excellence, including Environmental and Natural Resources Law, Appropriate Dispute Resolution, Legal Research and Writing, and Public Interest/Public Service Law. Our students have opportunities to translate their classroom work into practice, working with law firms, with non-profits, with state and federal agencies, with faculty members, with elected officials, with business leaders, and as entrepreneurs. Our collaborative and supportive learning environment brings together an extended community of students, faculty and staff members, and alumni who make Oregon Law more than just a school.
I am proud to be a member of this distinguished community and I look forward to serving you and working with you in the years ahead.
Philip H. Knight Dean
University of Oregon School of Law