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Dean Limelights

Dean Limelight: Martin J. Katz, University of Denver, Sturm Law

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How Martin J. Katz ended up as a legal academic is an amusing story and a cautionary tale for aspiring law students,. The lesson: Lots of people will tell you how to get on a certain career track. You don’t need to listen to them. Katz, dean at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, grew up thinking that he wanted to be a lawyer largely because his heroes were lawyers.

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Dean Limelight: María Pabón López, Loyola New Orleans

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The career-turning points for María Pabón López, the dean of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, came in the form of a person and a job. The person was a teachers-union lawyer whom López encountered as a science teacher, an attorney who took the time to explain how the law affects people in their everyday lives. The job was as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Criminal Division, for the District of Puerto Rico, where she prosecuted illegal immigrants.

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Dean Limelight: Rachel Van Cleave, Golden Gate University Law

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If perseverance, selfless service and a can-do approach to personal growth are Rachel Van Cleave’s watchwords – as even brief conversations with the Golden Gate University School of Law dean confirm – then the veterans of the Bay Area and their military values are her touchstones and guides. “Veterans bring with them a wealth of leadership knowledge, particularly in the face of great adversity,” Van Cleave says. “Through them I’ve come to recognize that mindfulness, humility and grit are what generate true leadership adaptability. Because of them I’m continually working to apply this lesson in my own small way.”

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Dean Limelight: Ward Farnsworth, University of Texas School of Law

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Ward Farnsworth, the dean of the University of Texas School of Law, is a man of distinctive passions and choice words. All of which makes sense when you know that he devours old movies, barbecue and live music; loves baseball; is expert in rhetoric and chess, and is the author of “The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking About the Law,” whose tools he teaches students to use across practice areas.

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