Following a customary five-year administrative review, Chancellor Block and I have asked Jennifer Mnookin to continue as dean of the UCLA School of Law. I am pleased to inform you that she has accepted the reappointment.
The review committee praised Jennifer for her energetic and visionary leadership, her strong problem-solving skills, and her highly effective and successful management of the School of Law. Through collaborative and skilled recruitments and retentions, she has enhanced both the quality and diversity of the faculty and set a very high bar for academic excellence and productivity within the school. Jennifer herself exemplifies the high intellectual standards that she expects of her faculty, as evidenced by her recent election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a distinction that only three other current and emeriti law faculty members hold.
In the past five years, Jennifer has applied a strategic and visionary approach to building programs such as a new self-supporting Master of Legal Studies degree, and has substantially expanded experiential offerings including several new live-client clinics and a trial advocacy program with one of the nation’s best trial teams. During her tenure, the academic credentials of the law school’s entering students have risen and the diversity of the student body has also increased; nearly half of this year’s entering J.D. students identify as students of color and the class comprises more first-generation college graduates than those of peer law schools. The school’s global reach has also been enhanced by the expansion of international programs and the growth of the successful LL.M. program.
Jennifer is a highly successful fundraiser, as evidenced by the more than $125 million that the school has raised during her first term as dean, surpassing the school’s Centennial Campaign goal by more than $30 million. Her strengths in donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship have enabled her to establish and raise endowments for numerous strategic initiatives — including the creation of the Promise Institute for Human Rights; the Center for Immigration Law and Policy; the Institute for Technology, Law and Policy; and the Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law — thereby enriching the intellectual life of the law school and allied units on campus. Under her leadership, the school has created new endowed chairs for faculty as well as a number of endowed student scholarships, including the Achievement Fellowship Program, which provides full tuition for high-achieving students who have overcome significant life obstacles, and the first endowed Black Law Students Association scholarship.
Jennifer has proved herself to be a strong steward of the school’s budget resources and, despite budgetary constraints and a four-year tuition freeze, she has been able to seek out innovative ways to responsibly manage and improve the school’s finances. She has also been a collaborative leader across campus, having chaired several campuswide searches and currently chairing the Professional School Deans Council. She has also held significant leadership roles beyond UCLA, serving on the Board of Trustees of the Law School Admissions Council, the Deans’ Steering Committee of the American Association of Law Schools, and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Technology, and Law.
During the next five years, Chancellor Block and I look forward to Jennifer’s continued efforts to build the law school’s intellectual community; strengthen its commitment to diversity, excellence, and service; and develop new strategic initiatives and innovations that advance the school, the university, and the legal profession.
Please join me in congratulating Jennifer on her many accomplishments in this role to date and extending our appreciation to her.
Emily A. Carter
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost