After an 18-month search, the George Washington University Law School has named Blake D. Morant as its new dean. Morant, who current serves as the dean of the Wake Forest University School of Law, will assume his responsibilities on September 1st, replacing interim Dean Gregory Maggs.
“Blake Morant is not only a seasoned dean but also a national leader in legal education,” said George Washington University President Steven Knapp. “He brings to this important position a proven record of accomplishments, and his extensive leadership experience will make him an extremely valuable addition to our law school and the entire university.”
As Wake Forest’s law dean since 2007, Morant has racked up some enviable accomplishments. Over the past five years, the school has jumped from #38 to #31 on U.S. News and World Report’s law school rankings, while ranking among the best law schools in health care law. During his tenure, Wake Forest has become a leader in public service, establishing clinics, externships, and pro bono opportunities to serve local communities and provide students with field experience. For these efforts, Morant was awarded the Equal Jusitice Works’ John R. Kramer Outstanding Law School Dean Award.
Morant is a leader outside of campus too. Recently, he was elected by his peers to be the president of the Association of American Law Schools in 2015. Heavily active in the American Bar Association, Morant serves as vice chair of the Diversity Committee and a member of the site inspection team for ABA law school accreditation. National Jurist listed him among the 25 most-influential people in law education in 2012 and 2014. In 2013, John Roberts, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, appointed Morant to a five-year tem on the Federal Judicial Center Foundation Board.
At Wake Forest, Morant also developed a reputation for being a strong student advocate and mentor. One student he touched was Michael Miranda (’13), whom Morant helped steer to the JAG Corps. “The support, mentorship, and advice that I received from Dean Morant over those three years ensured that I left Wake Forest with an education, not just a degree,” Miranda says. “Having such available access to a mentor whom I greatly respect, both as a person and as a professional, was an invaluable part of my Wake Forest experience — one of the ones that I cherish the most.”
Before joining Wake Forest, Morant taught law at Washington & Lee University, American University, the University of Toledo, the University of Michigan, and the University of Alabama. At Washington & Lee, he earned two professor-of-the-year awards from the Women Law Student Organization, along with picking up five outstanding teacher awards at the University of Toledo.
Professionally, Morant has served as a judge advocate in the United States Army JAG Corps, where he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster. He has also worked as a senior associate at Braude, Margulies & Rephan, P.C., and an assistant general counsel with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. As a student, Morant interned two summers at NASA.
He received his B.A. at the University of Virginia, while serving as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He also earned his J.D. at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was an Earl Warren Scholar.
Morant says he is thrilled to return to Washington, D.C., “I have respected and admired the George Washington Law School throughout my career and consider serving as its next dean to be a distinct privilege,” Morant said. “I look forward to working with the constituency of this historic institution during this time of both challenge and extraordinary opportunity.”
He enters a school facing unique challenges. Currently ranked #20 by U.S. News and World Report, the George Washington Law School’s acceptance rate has swelled from 29.7 percent to 41.5 percent, the highest among top-20 schools. While the class of 2014 arrived with higher average GPAs and only slightly lower LSATs, Morant must decide if these numbers are sustainable. He’ll also need to review the school’s placement rates, which were called into question after a professor’s research found that 21 percent of new graduate hiring was funded by the law school itself. Most important, Morant will play ambassador, rebuilding the trust lost after a faculty revolt forced out his predecessor, Paul Schiff, in 2012.
Dean Morant Speaks at Equal Justice Works Ceremony
Source: Equal Justice Works