New England Law/Boston

New England Law/Boston (, an ABA-approved, AALS-member, free- standing law school, seeks a new Dean, who also serves as the school’s chief executive officer, reporting to the Board of Trustees. NELB, the only independent law school in Massachusetts, has attracted a national student body, with over 70% of its students hailing from outside the Commonwealth.

NELB has long been a pioneer in affording access to premium, practice-ready legal education. Founded in 1908 as Portia Law School, it began as the nation’s only law school for women at a time when other schools admitted only men. For much of its early history, most women admitted to the Massachusetts Bar were Portia Law graduates. In 1969, the school changed its name to New England School of Law to coincide with its accreditation by the American Bar Association. NELB joined the Association of American Law Schools in 1998.

In 2008, the school began its second century with a new name and branding: New England Law/Boston. Today, it awards the JD and LLM, offering full-time, part-time day, part-time evening, and flexible part-time instruction to 1082 students, with 32 full-time faculty members and more than 100 adjuncts who are leading practitioners, industry leaders, and members of the state and federal bench.

NELB has no debt. With a productive endowment approaching $100 million and outright ownership of four buildings in Boston’s Theatre District and Bay Village, NELB enjoys a strong financial posture and an enviable location. The city’s top attractions and legal institutions— including the State House, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Financial District, and leading law firms—are a short walk away. Faculty and students describe the campus culture as “passionate and compassionate.”

NELB is a nimble institution with the flexibility to respond to emerging needs in the legal profession with innovative solutions that support faculty initiative and access to the profession. The school sponsors The New England Law Review and three Academic Centers (in Business Law, Law and Social Responsibility, and International Law and Policy). With its Faculty Fellows program, NELB underwrites a distinctive pathway for practitioners to pursue tenure-track law faculty appointments. Over the course of a typically two-year contract, Faculty Fellows are afforded time to gain pedagogical experience and produce scholarship before entering the law professor job market. In recent years, most Faculty Fellows have received a tenure-track appointment, with several of the most promising Fellows choosing to pursue careers at NELB.

NELB graduates can demonstrate their expertise in high-demand law practice specialties by earning a Certificate concurrently with their JD. Current Certificates include Compliance and Risk, Criminal Practice, Immigration Law, Intellectual Property, and Tax. NELB also offers seven Concentrations, earned through completing credit hours in a prescribed selection of courses that prepare students for practice readiness. Fifteen clinics provide varied, valuable, real-world experience, while student academic support through the Academic Excellence Program and the Bar Exam Preparation Program complement the regular curriculum.

Upon the appointment of its long serving dean, John O’Brien, NELB began attracting a succession of U. S. Supreme Court Justices to the school as visitors and full-time teaching faculty in the NELB-sponsored international summer program. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Justice Harry Blackmun, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Justice Clarence Thomas have all spoken at NELB, met with students and faculty, taught a special class in constitutional law, and continued as friends of the law school. In addition, Justices Ginsburg, Kennedy, Scalia, and Chief Justice Roberts have taught full-time classes in the NELB summer program. Justice Scalia taught in the NELB summer program twice, and Chief Justice Roberts will, this summer, teach for a record fifth time in the NELB summer program.

The Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Honors Program attracts top credentialed law school applicants with unique academic and extracurricular opportunities that enrich their law school experience. The program was not simply named for Justice O’Connor; it was begun, approved, and supported by Justice O’Connor herself. Eligible Honors students receive a full-tuition scholarship.

NELB seeks for its new Dean a prominent, charismatic leader from the legal academy, the legal profession, or the business world, who possesses a big-picture vision of how accessible, practice- ready legal education can better meet the needs of the profession and the communities it serves. Candidates should demonstrate the ability to promote the strength of NELB’s faculty as scholars and teachers and the readiness to sustain and publicize the supportive campus culture they have nurtured. The new Dean will have the opportunity to elicit from the faculty and articulate a market-differentiated identity derived from NELB’s heritage, instructional quality, and clinical distinction. The Board of Trustees will assist the new Dean in efforts to improve internal operations, including ongoing work to restore bar passage to its historically high levels, and enhancing financial support for students and graduates, faculty scholarship, and teaching innovation. While fundraising is not an urgent priority, the new Dean will have the opportunity to establish a professionalized advancement operation that offers NELB’s more than 13,000 alumni more robust channels for institutional affinity, engagement, and support of alma mater.

Candidates must embrace NELB’s commitment to scholarly excellence and practice orientation. Fluency in budgeting and finance and administrative experience are essential. Candidates should demonstrate the ability to strengthen financial sustainability, facilitate program innovation, and build NELB’s capacity to serve a diverse student population. Candidates should have fundraising aptitude and ideas for cultivating high student and alumni institutional affinity.

Search committee review of candidate materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment. A complete application will include a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae, and contact information for five professional references who can speak about the candidate’s qualifications for this appointment. Named references will not be contacted without the candidate’s prior consent.

Expressions of interest, applications, nominations, and inquiries should be directed to NELB’s search consultant, Mr. Chuck O’Boyle of C. V. O’Boyle, LLC, at

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