Southwestern Law School seeks a dynamic, experienced candidate with excellent teaching and collaborative skills to lead our Academic Success and Bar Preparation Department. The ideal candidate will be a creative, organized, compassionate team leader who is committed to Southwestern’s mission and is eager to engage with students from their admission into our school through their admission into the bar.
This position is a full-time faculty position, non-tenure-track, with voting rights and faculty governance opportunities. The successful candidate will be offered a five-year renewable contract. The Associate Dean will report to the Vice Dean but have direct access to the President and Dean.
Southwestern Law School has four distinct J.D. programs: a traditional, three-year day program; a part-time, four-year hybrid evening program; a four-year part-time day program designed specifically for individuals with caretaking responsibilities; and an accelerated two-year program. The Academic Success and Bar Preparation team works across all programs.
The law school is located in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, in the historic Bullocks Wilshire building. We have returned to in-person instruction and work, although employees have some flexibility to work remotely.
The Associate Dean for Academic Success and Bar Preparation provides overall leadership and management for all aspects of the Academic Success and Bar Preparation Department. The department develops and delivers programs that promote students’ academic success from pre-matriculation through bar admission. As a department head, the Associate Dean supervises other program faculty and staff and ensures that the team provides equitable and excellent service to Southwestern’s diverse community of students, staff, faculty, and alumni.
Reporting to the Vice Dean, the Associate Dean will work closely with members of the law school leadership, staff, faculty, and committees to envision, design, manage, and implement programming to support the school’s teaching and learning goals. The Associate Dean will draw on experience, research, analysis of the law school’s needs, and national best practices to coordinate existing programs and create new programming to support teaching and learning at Southwestern Law School.
Programming and Teaching
- Develop and implement a cohesive and comprehensive curriculum to help transition students into law school, promote their academic success, and prepare them to pass the bar exam and become successful legal professionals.
- Research and implement the most current best practices for academic success skills and bar preparation.
- Develop data-driven mechanisms for evaluating the success of students and program goals.
- Regularly review Southwestern’s academic and bar support programs and courses and make recommendations to the faculty and administration to enhance the learning experience for students.
- Teach in the program.
Leadership and Administration
- Work closely with law school leaders, faculty, and departments to promote the development of students as effective, empowered, and reflective learners and legal professionals.
- Work closely with other departments, including but not limited to the Dean of Students Office, Student Affairs, Admissions, and Career Services Office.
- Meet regularly with student support leaders to promote a culture of academic excellence.
- Stay well-informed about changes and trends in legal education and bar admission and make recommendations to the faculty and administration based on these changes.
- Oversee data gathering and analysis related to bar passage for long-term assessment.
- Complete the annual ABA Bar Passage Questionnaire and other bar passage surveys.
- Manage the program budget.
- Attend and participate in faculty and department head meetings.
- Serve on faculty committees that seek to advance the goals of Southwestern and the Academic Success and Bar Preparation programs and courses.
- Supervise Academic Success and Bar Preparation team.
- Maintain a flow of information to promote a cohesive department environment, which includes regular individual and team-wide meetings.
- Develop personal growth opportunities for members of the team and take other steps to promote retention.
Minimum Job Requirements
- J.D. from an ABA-approved law school; strong academic credentials.
- Admitted to the bar in at least one jurisdiction (license may be inactive but must be eligible for immediate conversion to active status).
- Significant knowledge of the substantive law tested on the California Bar Examination.
- Familiarity with the current format of the California Bar Examination and major bar preparation companies.
- At least two years working as a practicing attorney in any field is preferred.
- At least five years of prior law school teaching experience in or related to academic support or bar preparation is preferred.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required or Preferred:
- Significant knowledge of the law school curriculum and best practices for law teaching.
- Superior written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills.
- An understanding of the dynamics of diversity and accessibility (including first-generation college graduates) in higher education and a demonstrated ability to incorporate this understanding into their work.
- Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with a diverse population of students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
- Ability to foster a cooperative work environment, employee development, and performance management skills.
- Demonstrated ability to think creatively and critically about techniques to improve law students’ academic development and to design, implement, and manage innovative programs to promote that development.
- Demonstrated ability to handle confidential information, exhibit good judgment, and exemplify customer service in working with students, faculty, and staff.
- Ability to manage multiple competing priorities and meet firm deadlines.
- Accuracy and meticulous attention to detail.
- Highly organized with excellent time-management skills.
- Excellent critical thinking and listening skills.
- Ability to apply creative problem-solving skills to develop solutions within established policies, guidelines, accreditation standards, and applicable law.
- Knowledge of advising, coaching, and counseling techniques.
- Technology fluency; knowledge and experience working with Microsoft Office, Canvas or another learning management system, Zoom, and social media.
- A self-starter and demonstrated work ethic.
- Ability to function independently with minimal oversight.
- Demonstrated commitment to holistic education and wellness.
- Flexibility to work in person and online, in the evenings, and sometimes on weekends.
- Experience working with statistics and data is a plus.
- Prior experience directing or serving as an associate director of an academic support or bar preparation program is a plus.
- Prior budget experience is a plus.
For full consideration, interested individuals should apply by submitting a resume or curriculum vitae and cover letter connecting their experience to the job responsibilities to firstname.lastname@example.org.