Larry Kramer

The second-best law school in the country has decided on a new dean. And nobody will make fun of her if she wants to pop her collar.

We told you back in March that Larry Kramer would be leaving Stanford Law School. Today, the university announced the selection of Mary Elizabeth Magill, vice dean of the University of Virginia School of Law, to lead SLS. She takes over on September 1st.

Magill got her J.D. at UVA, but she’s a native of Fargo, North Dakota. So let’s everybody cue up the Frances McDormand voice while we take a look at the rest of Magill’s wonderful résumé….

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Last month, we reported on the continued unraveling of the Law Clerk Hiring Plan (hereinafter “the Plan”). We cited, as evidence, the recent announcement by Georgetown University Law Center that it would be diverging in certain respects from the Plan.

Now another top law school — a top, top law school, one that sends many of its graduates into clerkships — has joined Georgetown in departing from the Plan. And the school’s dean has offered a full-throated defense of the decision to diverge.

Which school are we talking about? And is its argument persuasive?

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At Stanford they make stallions.

We reported last night that Larry Kramer will be leaving the deanship of Stanford Law School to assume the presidency of the Hewlett Foundation. We join others in congratulating Dean Kramer for an outstanding tenure at Stanford Law, and we wish him the best of luck in his new endeavor.

An endeavor that will undoubtedly net him a boatload of philanthropic money.

But we can’t leave the Stanford story without pausing to ask: “Why now? And why Hewlett?” Perhaps the afore-speculated boatload of cash has something to do with it. But surely Kramer was going to have a soft landing made entirely of green linen waiting for him whenever he decided to leave.

With Stanford Law just rising to #2 in the U.S. News law school rankings, some in the SLS community thought this would be a time for Kramer to savor his success, not leave the school he has helped build up….

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We have just learned that Larry Kramer, Dean of Stanford Law School, will be stepping down from his post at the end of August. Kramer took the top job at Stanford Law in 2004 and helped lead Stanford to overtake Harvard for the #2 spot in the U.S. News law school rankings just a few short weeks ago.

He is leaving his position in order to become president of the Hewlett Foundation, a grant-making organization focused on social and environmental problems. According to his statement to the Stanford Law community, Kramer does plan to continue teaching at the school.

I’m sure we will be hearing a lot more about this in the next few days. For the time being, check out Dean Kramer’s statement, after the jump.

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I think we’ve all been waiting for this. Last Wednesday, we picked up a report from the Stanford Daily announcing that students at Stanford Law School would be looking at a 5.75% tuition hike for the 2011 – 2012 academic year. That’s significantly larger than the 3.5% tuition hike for the rest of the university.

Given that most Stanford Law students found out the school was jacking up tuition from the Stanford Daily or Above the Law, I’m not surprised to see a school-wide apology from Stanford Law Dean Larry Kramer. And given the fact that the best reason thus far given for Stanford’s tuition hike reduces to “because we can,” I’m also not surprised to see Dean Kramer working hard to spin the story differently.

Do you find him convincing? Read his email and tell us what you think…

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Late last month, we posed a question: Can Stanford overtake Harvard and Yale and become the #1 law school? We consulted our Magic 8 Ball, which gave this answer: “Outlook Not So Good.”

And it’s not just the Magic 8 Ball. Professor Bill Henderson, one of the leading academics studying the legal profession, constructed a simulation model of the U.S. News rankings. He used this model to figure out what Stanford Law School would have to do to top the list.

For starters, it would need to get its hands on at least $350 million dollars….

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Hello, West Coast readers! How’s it hangin’ out there past the Rockies? Here at Above the Law, we try to overcome any suggestion of East Coast bias by consistently publishing a post later in the day for our readers in the Pacific time zone. And we try to be generally aware of West Coast firms and schools.

We’ve even heard of Stanford Law School. It’s like the Harvard of the West, right? We hear it’s wonderful. It’s not Yale, but hey, neither is the Harvard of the East (a.k.a. Harvard).

Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer wants that to change. He’s already pushed through grade reform, so now Stanford copies Yale’s grading methods. (Berkeley kids, just be quiet. Nobody wants to hear about how everybody copied it from you.)

But apparently grade reform was just step one of Kramer’s grand plan to oust Yale from its position as the nation’s best law school…

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