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August 17, 2013

Berkeley’s Dean Edley

by Dan Rodriguez

Yes, this blog is focused, unapologetically, on Northwestern Law School.  But I want to look beyond Streeterville for a moment to say a couple words about Dean Chris Edley of UC Berkeley’s Law School.  Yesterday’s notice from the university notes that Dean Edley is stepping down suddenly in order to deal with serious health problems, the nature of which are described in an especially eloquent quotation from Chris in the article.

Chris Edley, who I had the pleasure to study administrative law with as a second-year student at Harvard Law School more years ago than I will admit, served nine remarkable years as Berkeley’s law dean.  In a period of real challenge for that great public law school — with declining state support, a creaky physical plant, some key faculty loses, and, later, myriad problems stemming from the tough job market in California and nationally — Edley provided steady, creative leadership.  By any measure, the law school prospered.  By making Berkeley Law better, he kept his peers on their toes.  While I left Berkeley Law School a few years before Edley arrived from Harvard, I have watched with interest as a faculty alumnus how the law school has progressed and how the dean’s passionate advocacy for high professional and academic values and shrewd strategic judgment helped maintain and enhance excellence in a period in which Berkeley’s status as one the nation’s premier law schools could not be taken for granted.

As Dean Edley steps down after this great run to pursue other meaningful professional goals, I join with my other dean colleagues to wish him Godspeed and congratulations on a job exceptionally well done.


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