Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Bryant Garth Named 10th Dean of Southwestern Law School January 26, 2005
Bryant Garth Named 10th Dean of Southwestern Law School

Bryant G. Garth, the former Director of the American Bar Foundation (ABF) and former Dean of Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington, has been named Dean and Chief Executive Officer of Southwestern University School of Law. His five-year term begins in July 2005, when he will succeed Dean Leigh H. Taylor who is retiring after serving since 1978.

In announcing the appointment, Dennis P.R. Codon, Chair of Southwestern’s Board of Trustees said, "As an internationally recognized scholar on the legal profession, Bryant Garth brings an invaluable perspective to this important post. His experience as foundation director and legal educator, as well as his congeniality and consensus building abilities, will help him provide the strong leadership necessary to continue the tremendous momentum Southwestern has enjoyed over the past two decades. We are delighted that Dean Garth will be joining us this summer and look forward to working with him."

Garth was selected by the Board of Trustees following an extensive national search led by a committee of trustees and faculty members. He will be the tenth dean of the law school.

"I am looking forward to this tremendous opportunity to serve Southwestern – a school with a great tradition, a strong presence in Los Angeles, and of course, a spectacular facility bestowed through the efforts of Dean Taylor," Garth said.

"Perhaps more than any other legal scholar, Bryant Garth has researched the attitudes, values and behaviors that have shaped the legal profession. As a result, he has a firm grasp of what future attorneys must do in order to build fulfilling, successful careers that best serve the public interest," said Dean Taylor. "Southwestern will benefit tremendously from his knowledge of – and respect from – all facets of the bench, bar and legal education communities."

According to Professor Herma Hill Kay, former Dean of University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law who served on the board of the ABF, "Southwestern has made an extremely good choice. Bryant Garth is a talented organizer and manager, a well-respected leader in legal education, and an outstanding scholar in his own right. He has the passion to direct the law school into fruitful and innovative paths."

Originally from southern California, Garth, 55, earned his B.A. degree magna cum laude in 1972 at Yale University. In 1975, he received his J.D. degree from Stanford Law School where he was editor-in-chief of the STANFORD JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES and elected to the Order of the Coif. Proficient in four foreign languages, Garth also completed a Ph.D. degree (European Doctorate in Law) in 1979 at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He is a member of the California and Indiana State Bars.

In 1979, after serving as law clerk to Chief Judge Robert Peckham of the Federal District Court, Northern District of California in San Francisco, Garth joined the faculty of Indiana University School of Law. There he taught civil procedure, legal profession, international and comparative law and human rights. He served as Dean of the law school from 1986 to 1990.

Thomas Ehrlich, former President of Indiana University, who has known Garth since his law school days at Stanford when Ehrlich was Dean, said, "Bryant Garth was a brilliant student at Stanford, and a superb administrator and legal scholar at Indiana. He continued both his outstanding scholarship and leadership at the ABF. Southwestern could not have made a better choice for their new dean."

In 1990, Garth was appointed as the Director of the ABF, an independent nonprofit institute established by the American Bar Association to serve as its research center for the empirical study of law, legal institutions and legal processes in society. Over the next 14 years, Garth led an interdisciplinary research staff of scholars in law, sociology, psychology, political science, economics, history, and anthropology who produced the seminal research and analysis in such areas as the impact of anti-discrimination laws, the actual behavior of juries, and the causes of crime. Under his guidance, the Foundation became a preeminent and authoritative resource for lawyers, scholars, legal educators, and policy makers throughout the world.

According to Robert MacCrate, Senior Counsel at Sullivan & Cromwell, former President of both the American Bar Association and the ABF and chair of the ABA MacCrate Report on Legal Education and Professional Development, "Bryant Garth demonstrated an excellent ability to lead a community of scholars in harmony and with highly productive results."

While at the ABF, Garth was affiliated with Northwestern University as a Faculty Associate in the Center for Legal Studies as well as Adjunct Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Sociology. He was also named a Distinguished Scholar at the Institute for Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.

Upon learning of Garth’s appointment by Southwestern, Dean David Van Zandt of Northwestern University School of Law commented, "Bryant Garth has been a fabulous leader of the American Bar Foundation who has excellent academic judgment and the ability to attract the very best faculty. This is a wonderful coup for Southwestern."

Garth is the author or co-author of more than 75 articles and 16 books. Among his more recent publications are: GLOBAL PRESCRIPTIONS: THE PRODUCTION, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF A NEW LEGAL ORTHODOX (B. Garth & Y. Dezalay, eds.; University of Michigan Press, 2002); THE INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PALACE WARS: LAWYERS, ECONOMISTS AND THE CONTEST TO TRANSFORM LATIN AMERICAN STATES (B. Garth & Y. Dezalay, University of Chicago Press, 2002; also translated into Spanish and French); and LOOKING BACK AT LAW’S CENTURY (B. Garth, R. Kagan & A. Sarat, eds.; Cornell University Press, 2002). He has served on the editorial or advisory boards for Oxford University Press, ABC-CLIO, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIO-LEGAL STUDIES, and LAW AND SOCIETY ENCYCLOPEDIA, among others.

Robert Stein, Executive Director of the American Bar Association, said, "Bryant Garth is one of the superb leaders in legal education nationally. He is an unusual combination of a first-rate research scholar and an excellent administrator. His recent research has moved into the international area, reflecting the significance of an increasingly global practice."

Garth’s current research includes a major project on the transformation of the role of law and the position of lawyers in South and East Asia, and the "After the J.D." project examining the careers of close to 5,000 law graduates of the class of 2000 for which he serves on the Executive Coordinating Committee. He also chairs the Advisory Board of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement cosponsored by the Association of American Law Schools and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Often invited to speak at symposia and conferences around the world, Garth has addressed more than 100 forums across the U.S. as well as in Brazil, Columbia, Austria, Poland, France, England, Wales, Japan, and Canada during just the past decade.

Garth has held leadership positions in numerous committees of the American Bar Association, most recently as Co-Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section’s Ethics Committee, and as Special Advisor to the Task Force on Goal VIII (Promoting the Rule of Law). For the Association of American Law Schools, he served on the Executive Committee of the Section on the Legal Profession, and chaired the Section on Law and Social Science. He also served on the Stanford Law School Board of Visitors, and on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee for the Law and Society Association where he has chaired myriad committees and annual meetings. For the World Bank, he has served on the Evaluation Working Group of the Legal and Judicial Reform Unit, and as a consultant for World Bank judicial reform projects in Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Asia. A Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Garth has received dozens of research grants, including seven from the National Science Foundation.

Garth is married to independent film producer Gwendolyn Sessions. His son, Andrew Garth, is an attorney with the firm of Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis. His daughters, Heather and Daniela, are both nurses in nurse practitioner programs.

According to Robert Nelson who succeeded Garth as Director of the ABF, "Bryant provided superb leadership to the Foundation and in that role helped to significantly expand the entire field of law and society research. During that time, he also produced prize-winning research on international commercial arbitration, and globalization and the rule of law. We are very sad to see Bryant leave, but wish him and Gwen the very best in their new home in Los Angeles. Southwestern has recruited a truly unique intellectual leader."