Dear Alumni and Friends:
As I write this final Forum column of my deanship, the new sights and smells of spring are abundant on campus. The renewal and change brought on by the season provide a fitting parallel to the many transformations that occur here at Myron Taylor Hall.
When I talk with alumni around the country and the world, they often tell me that Cornell Law School was a life-changing experience- that by graduation they had matured into disciplined analytic thinkers and were ready to be professionals advising others on important matters. During my years at the helm, I've done my best to foster our intimate, collegial, and supportive environment conducive to producing well-rounded "lawyers in the best sense."
Aside from the many individual transformations we have encouraged, the Law School also has undergone a great deal of institutional change since I became dean in 2004. During this time, we have renewed and grown our faculty, enhanced our curriculum, added programs, and expanded the school itself with the first major building project in 25 years now completed. And while many of our accomplishments have been chronicled here before, the first article of this issue summarizes how far we have come in 10 years.
One of the most visible accomplishments is the stunning east classroom wing adjoining Purcell Courtyard, which is the focus of a photo feature on page 18. Featuring three state-of-the art classrooms, a beautiful lobby, and impressive entrance, this new space suits our needs and character and our sense of community. It has the clarity, openness,and accessibility that are important goals for law and the Law School.
The themes of transformation and change are woven into the two other feature articles. Cynthia Bowman, Dorothea S. Clark Professor of Law, reveals that Cornell Law School can lay claim to having the first, second, third, and fourth women editors of a law review-many decades before any other law school. Based on extensive interviews, Bowman recounts the rich lives of three of these women and the challenges they faced as they pursued careers as lawyers.
The final article profiles the incomparable Steven Shiffrin, Charles Frank Reavis Sr. Professor of Law, who retired last semester after more than 26 years at the Law School. An expert on the First Amendment, Shiffrin has been a generous teacher, mentor, and colleague with a remarkable legacy. I look forward to seeing him around the school when I return to teaching.
This year brought yet more change-both somber and joyous. In February, we were deeply saddened at the sudden death of my dear friend and brilliant colleague, Professor Ted Eisenberg, a founder of modern empirical legal studies. We were lucky to have had him as a colleague for more than three decades, but wish it could have been longer.
On a happy note, in March Professor Eduardo M. Peñalver was named the next Allan R. Tessler Dean of Cornell Law School. His energy, engaging personality, deep love of the school, and academic excellence make him a great fit. He begins July 1, and we have been working on a smooth transition.
The last ten years have gone quickly. I have enjoyed the opportunity as dean to work with everyone connected with Cornell Law School. There is so much talent, high ideals, and decency among us. Our energy is high and the future is promising.
Stewart J. Schwab
The Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law