USC Gould Names New Law Dean

 

Andrew T. Guzman

Andrew T. Guzman

A high-profile U.C. Berkeley law school academic and administrator is leaving to take over as dean at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

Andrew T. Guzman replaces Robert Rasmussen at Gould, and will assume his new role July 1. Rasmussen announced his resignation in May.

“Andrew Guzman is a respected leader in his field, and possesses broad and profound knowledge of international law and global economics,” wrote USC President C. L. Max Nikias in announcing the move. “He has distinguished himself as a scholar whose expertise draws on an unparalleled perspective of complex legal issues. His exceptional experience will be a valuable resource for our students, and, under his leadership, the USC Gould School of Law will further advance excellence in legal education.”

A DISTINGUISHED ACADEMIC AND LEADERSHIP CAREER

Guzman joins Gould from the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Law, where he has been the Jackson H. Ralston Professor of Law and associate dean of international and executive education since 2008. He also oversees Boalt Hall’s advanced law degree programs.

He earned both his J.D. and Ph.D. (Economics) from Harvard University in 1996. After a stint as a judicial clerk at the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, he joined the Berkeley Law faculty two years later. During his academic career, Guzman has served as a visiting law professor at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, the University of Hamburg, and the National University Law School in Bangalore, India.

An expert in international law and global economics, with an interdisciplinary bent, Guzman has recently taught courses in international arbitration, foreign investment law, and international law and relations at Berkeley. His scholarship focuses heavily on international law, commerce, regulation, product safety, tribunals, and investment. Along with publishing articles in various legal journals, Guzman has authored Overheated: The Human Cost of Climate Change; How International Law Works; and International Trade Law. He also sits on the board of The Journal of International Economic Law and The International Review of Law and Economics. Outside of academia, Guzman has worked as an international arbitrator.

FORMER DEAN LAUDS CHOICE

Guzman appears to be a popular choice. Rasmussen, who’d served as Gould’s dean since 2007, praised the selection. “There is no better person to lead this law school than Andrew Guzman,” Rasmussen wrote in a statement. “I have known and admired Professor Guzman for over 15 years. He is a wonderful teacher, a leading international scholar and a talented administrator. Under his leadership, the USC Gould School of Law will continue to advance among the ranks of the nation’s finest law schools.”

Gould was quick to point to Rasmussen’s success in announcing Guzman’s hire. Dr. Michael Quick, USC’s interim provost, touted Rasmussen’s “exemplary service” as dean. He was also cited for enrolling a strong 2014 class, beefing up the school’s interdisciplinary faculty, and adding several clinics and certificate programs, including one program where students can earn their undergraduate and J.D. degrees in six years. Rasmussen also launched one of the nation’s only online LL.M. degree programs.

At the same time, Guzman steps into a tricky situation. Last year, Gould’s U.S. News and Above the Law rankings dropped by two points (to No. 20) and 15 points (to No. 35) respectively. The school is also in the midst of a $150 million fundraising campaign. Despite these challenges – and declining enrollments nationwide – Guzman looks forward to this new challenge.

“This is an incredibly exciting time of change in legal education,” Guzman told the school. “I am looking forward to working with talented faculty, staff and students to continue USC Gould’s tradition of excellence. I am also eager to meet with the remarkable alumni community whose engagement is so important to the law school’s future.”

LEADERSHIP SHAKEUPS AT HIGH PROFILE LAW SCHOOLS 

Guzman’s selection kicks off another annual round of musical chairs at law schools. In 2014, several high profile schools changed deans, including Guzman’s U.C. Berkeley (which hired NYU’s Sujit Choudhry) and Columbia University (which named Guzman’s colleague Gillian Lester as dean).  Other law schools experiencing shakeups at the top last spring included Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, George Washington University, Washington University, the University of Illinois, the University of Houston, and the University of Maryland.

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