Bryant G. Garth
Dean Emeritus, Professor of Law
B.A., magna cum laude, with highest honors in American Studies, 1972, Yale University; J.D., 1975, Stanford University; Ph.D., European Doctorate in Law, 1979, European University Institute, Florence, Italy; Member, California and Indiana State Bars
One of the leading international scholars on the legal profession, dispute resolution, globalization and the rule of law, Bryant G. Garth served as the tenth Dean of Southwestern from July 2005 to July 2012. Under his leadership, the law school advanced at an accelerated pace in virtually all areas, including curricular innovations, student services, faculty and staff development, fund raising, diversity, academic support, reputation with legal education and the profession, and campus enhancement and expansion.
He spearheaded historic initiatives in many important areas, from partnerships with world renowned academic institutions such as The Drucker Graduate School of Management, to the construction of the law school's first on-campus student housing complex. He also enjoyed teaching every first-year student during his special sessions on professionalism and building a career in the law.
"I feel very privileged to have served as dean during a momentous time in the law school's history, and I am very grateful to all the members of the Southwestern family for so enthusiastically embracing and contributing to our commitment to excellence and innovation."
In announcing his decision to return to teaching and research after seven years in the post, Dean Garth said, "Southwestern is in very solid shape and on a nice trajectory, with exciting new developments in the academic program, campus expansion, and institutional partnerships. We have an inspiring, vibrant, collaborative community of dedicated legal scholars and students with an exceptionally dedicated staff. I feel very privileged to have served as dean during this momentous time in the law school's history, and I am very grateful to all the members of the Southwestern family for so enthusiastically embracing and contributing to our commitment to excellence and innovation."
Among the numerous accomplishments that marked Dean Garth's tenure are: recruiting an impressive cadre of young rising stars and nationally recognized senior scholars to the faculty; significantly increasing scholarship and grant support for entering and continuing students; creating an open, supportive student-centered environment that significantly increased student satisfaction levels in relationships with faculty, staff and fellow students as well as overall experience; establishing three new clinics for Children's Rights, Immigration Law and Street Law; creating unique partnerships with the internationally recognized Drucker Graduate School of Management of Claremont Graduate University and the Pardee RAND Graduate School for concurrent degree and certificate programs; expanding resources and emphasis in the academic support program and public service program; expanding support for faculty scholarship and interdisciplinary research; advancing the entertainment law program through innovations such as the first online LL.M. in entertainment and media law; creating the first three track first-year legal research and writing program to provide students with a choice of an appellate, negotiation or trial advocacy focus; revamping and expanding the upper division curriculum with major capstone courses, intersessions and mini-course offerings; taking a national leadership role in curriculum reform; building the school's first on-campus student housing complex; doubling the alumni participation rate in annual donations; hosting more than 40 annual alumni events throughout the country; and initiating a successful capital campaign supporting faculty chairs, student support and campus expansion; among many other advancements.
Proficient in four foreign languages, Dean Garth was editor-in-chief of the Stanford Journal of International Studies and went on to serve as a judicial clerk to Judge Robert Peckham of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. In 1979, he joined the faculty of Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington, where he taught civil procedure, legal profession, international and comparative law and human rights, and served as Dean from 1986 to 1990.
Dean Garth was appointed in 1990 as the Director of the American Bar Foundation (ABF), the independent nonprofit research center established by the American Bar Association (ABA) for the empirical study of law, legal institutions and legal processes. Under his guidance over the next 14 years, the Foundation became a preeminent resource for lawyers, scholars, legal educators, and policy makers throughout the world. He was then recruited to serve as the tenth dean of Southwestern.
The author or co-author of more than 20 books and 107 articles, Dean Garth is co-editor of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Journal of Legal Education and chaired the AALS Committee on Research in 2007-08. His own research focus has been on the legal profession, dispute resolution, globalization and the rule of law. Drawing on this expertise, he has served as a consultant to such entities as the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development and major philanthropic foundations. In recent years, Dean Garth has addressed more than 100 forums across the U.S. as well as more than a dozen foreign countries. He has held numerous leadership positions within the ABA and the AALS, currently chairing the Advisory Board of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement and serving on the Executive Coordinating Committee of the pioneering "After the J.D." study of lawyer careers.
Selected, 2010 Person of the Year, Metropolitan News Enterprise
Appointed Chair, AALS Committee on Research 2007-08