Tuesday, February 4, 2003
Dunn Named Dean of La Verne College of Law, Targets ABA Accreditation
By J’AMY PACHECO, Staff Writer
The newly-appointed dean for San Bernardino County’s only law school said yesterday he is “very enthusiastic” and “very excited” about his new post.
Donald J. Dunn was named dean last week of the 33-year-old University of La Verne College of Law in Ontario. He expects to begin his new assignment June 1.
Dunn said he is “looking forward” to his new post, and said one of his goals—and challenges—will be helping the school “move to the point of receiving ABA accreditation.”
“It is a very, very fine institution,” he observed. “But every institution can be better.”
He said he traveled to Ontario Saturday to attend the university’s annual Presidents Dinner, and met “many, many members of the legal community.”
“I am very impressed with the people we met,” he stated.
Charles Doskow, professor and dean emeritus at the law school, described Dunn’s appointment as the result of a “long” and “exhaustive” search.
“I think I am with the rest of the faculty in being really pleased with the choice, and pleased that he agreed to come,” Doskow said. “He has ABA experience; he has dean experience, and I think he sees the way we do what our mission is.”
Dunn currently serves as a law professor and associate dean for library and information resources at Western New England College School of Law in Massachusetts. He previously served five years as dean of the law school.
Dunn said he has spent the majority of his career – 34 years—working in libraries.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969 from the University of Texas at Austin, he earned his Master of Library Science there in 1972. The following year, he became the first librarian for the Western New England College School of Law.
He earned his law degree there in 1983. He served as dean from 1996 to 2001, making him one of only two law librarians in history to serve as a law school dean.
Dunn is considered an authority in law librarianship, and is the author of several books and articles including Fundamentals of Legal Research and Legal Research Illustrated (with J. Myron Jacobstein and Roy M. Merskey); and “Legal Research: A Fundamental Lawyering Skill” in Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing. He served as editor for Legal Research: Preserving an Essential Lawyering Skill (Granlyn Conference Report) in 1991.
He received the 1993 Article of the Year Award from the Law Library Journal, and in 2001, the Donald J. Dunn Scholarship Fund was established at the Western New England College School of Law in recognition of his service as dean and law librarian.
But it is perhaps his expertise in ABA accreditation that will most immediately benefit the University of La Verne College of Law, which previously sought and did not receive ABA accreditation. The law school is accredited by the State Bar of California.
School officials expect to apply again in the fall.
As a member of the ABA, Dunn has served on more than 40 site evaluation teams since 1977.
“Don brings a wealth of experience that will benefit our students and the greater legal community here in the Inland Empire,” Dr. Richard L. McDowell, provost and vice president for academic affairs said in a written release. “His experience as a law school administrator and background as a consultant and ABA site team evaluator make him highly qualified to lead the College of Law as we prepare for the rigorous ABA approval review process later this year. His insight as a recent member of the Law School Admissions Council also gives us an edge in the highly competitive law school admissions environment.”
Dunn is also a member of the ABA Gavel Awards Screening Committee, and chaired the Law Libraries Committee of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar from 1989 to 1992.
He also worked previously for the University of Texas at Austin, Tarlton Law Library, and has served on many legal advisory committees.
Dunn will replace H. Randall Rubin, who has served as interim dean since Kenneth Held stepped down in 2002. Held spent 19 years as dean before stepping down in order to return to the classroom.
Held is on sabbatical, and is expected to begin teaching torts when he returns in August.
Dunn said he expects to return to California in February and again in April to “get organized and get moving along.”
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company