By Dean Jane Korn
is hard to believe that the first year of my deanship at Gonzaga Law School is coming to an end. This year has been wonderful and the time has gone by so quickly. I did a lot of traveling this year and met with many of our terrific alumni. It was a pleasure to hear many of the stories about Gonzaga’s past and to share thoughts about our future.
We had many engaging events this past semester. The speaker for the Quackenbush lecture was Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of UC Irvine who spoke about the Supreme Court’s approach to privacy issues. The Quackenbush lecture, sponsored by the federal judges in Eastern Washington, is in honor of the many achievements of Judge Justin Quackenbush. We also hosted the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. The court held oral argument here at Gonzaga Law in the Barbieri Courtroom. One exciting feature of this visit was that two of our students were invited to file an amicus brief and one of them got to argue along with the parties. This was the court’s first visit to Gonzaga. In addition, Professor Charles Ogletree gave the William O. Douglas lecture in April. Professor Ogletree teaches at Harvard and is the director of the Charles Hamilton Houston INstitute for Race and Justice. The William O. Douglas lecture began in 1972 with Justice Douglas as the first speaker. Justice Douglas was raised here in Washington.
As always, our students have been busy. Sixty-four teams started the competition for the 77th Linden Cup and the final argument, presided over by eight state supreme court justices, was among the closest anyone could remember. We congratulate all of the participants on their preparation and passion for oral argument. And, of course, the day was topped off by an evening of celebration that has been known for so long as Heidleberg. Because this was my first time at Heidlebeg, I became curious about the origins of the name. We knew that it was named by Father James Linden, S.J. in 1935. On short notice, the reference librarians came up with some possibilities for the name. But if anyone knows why Fr. Linden decided to call it Heidleberg, please let me know.
On the good-news front, we moved up in the U.S. News & World Report rankings from 131 to 123. This is a great move and we are working hard to see our upward movement continue. We have appointed an associate dean for faculty development, Jason Gillmer. Part of his new position includes mentoring faculty about scholarship as well as promoting the scholarship the faculty is doing. In this way, we will increase the reputation of Gonzaga Law School outside of this region and let people know the great things that are happening here.
For a variety of reasons, applications are down at law schools around the country. Gonzaga Law is no exception. We do not know how long this will last but are making plans to deal with the situation. Our admissions staff is working hard to bring in the usual wonderful class of students this fall.
We turn 100 this year so be on the lookout for notices about our various Centennial celebrations. We will start off with a talk on Sept. 20, 2012, by author Scott Turow and will end with an all-class reunion and gala at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane on April 20, 2013. There will also be events in places outside Spokane and I look forward to seeing you at one or more of these celebrations.