Law School Deans, Law Schools

Dean No More: Lawrence Mitchell Has Resigned

Dean Lawrence Mitchell

In November 2012, Case Western Reserve School of Law Dean Lawrence Mitchell started his op-ed in the New York Times with the following words: “I’m a law dean, and I’m proud.”

Well, he’s not anymore. Mitchell has been accused of sexual harassment and retaliatory behavior. Mitchell had been on a leave of absence since November, but now, after months of allegations and intrigue, Dean Mitchell is officially stepping down.

Read below the message given to Case Western Law students….

(Please note the UPDATE after the jump, a link to the university’s press release.)

UPDATE (12:55 p.m.): The university’s press release, which discusses some of Dean Mitchell’s accomplishments during his deanship, is available here.


To the Students of the School of Law:

We write today to let you know that Dean Lawrence E. Mitchell resigned his leadership position to alleviate distractions for the school related to pending litigation. We will release this information publicly later this morning, but wanted to communicate directly with you before that announcement.

A tenured professor, Mitchell will remain on the school’s faculty. As is the practice with deans who step down, he will be on sabbatical during the following academic year. He will pursue scholarship and other projects during 2014-2015, but will not teach during those semesters.

Your acting deans, Jessica Berg and Michael Scharf, will continue to lead your school as they have done so remarkably well since November. We do plan to conduct a search for a new dean, but first will prepare for that process by consulting extensively with internal and external constituents. These include the law school’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, and frequent employers of our graduates. We will seek insights regarding the current conditions of the school, progress in recent months, and the qualities most needed in the school’s next leader. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

We recognize that this academic year has proved challenging, and appreciate your ability to continue to focus squarely on continuing your education. We have watched your achievements in external contests with admiration, and absolutely beamed at the eloquence and enthusiasm you demonstrated in the school’s new recruitment video and other admissions outreach. Thank you for all that you have done – and done so well – during this difficult time.

With best wishes for a restorative Spring Break,

Barbara R. Snyder


Earlier: Law Dean Takes to the New York Times Op-Ed Page to Blame Media for Declining Law School Applications
Lawsuit Accuses Prominent Law School Dean Of Sexual Harassment (And More)
Law School Dean Accused Of Sexual Harassment Takes Temporary Leave Of Absence

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