Schill Appointed Next Dean of University of Chicago Law School

Schill Appointed Next Dean of University of Chicago Law School
Sarah Galer
University of Chicago News Office
September 8, 2009

Michael H. Schill, dean of the UCLA School of Law and a nationally known scholar of property law, has been appointed as the next dean of the University of Chicago Law School, University President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Thomas F. Rosenbaum announced today.

Schill's appointment takes effect Friday, Jan. 1, 2010.

During his five years at UCLA, Schill has successfully recruited leading legal scholars from top schools across the nation. He has launched three new legal research centers and two academic specialization programs. Alumni participation in fundraising has doubled since he arrived, and private philanthropy has tripled.

Schill, the author of three books and more than 40 articles, has continued to pursue his scholarship in real estate and housing policy, deregulation, finance and discrimination, He is a co-author of the property law casebook used by more than half of all law students nationwide.

"We are very confident that Mike will bring to the deanship the values, vision, aspirations, University-wide perspective and leadership to help ensure that the future of the Law School is as compelling as its past," Zimmer and Rosenbaum wrote in a joint e-mail to Law School faculty and staff.

"One of the things that most attracted me to the law school is that in a world where most law schools converge to a common model, the University of Chicago Law School remains distinctive," said Schill. "It is an institution singularly committed to intellectual pursuit. The faculty, composed of many of the nation's leading scholars, produces path-breaking scholarship that is academically rigorous, yet engages and influences the worlds of law, business and politics."

A graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, Schill was in private practice before joining the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a tenured professor of law and real estate. He became the Wilf Family Professor in Property Law at New York University School of Law and professor of urban planning at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He was the founding director of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.

"We hit the jackpot with Mike Schill," said Eric Posner, the Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law at the University of Chicago and chair of the search committee. "Throughout his scholarly and administrative career, he has always displayed a profound commitment to the intellectual values at the core of the law school's mission, At the same time, he's one of the most talented academic administrators in the country, who has received extraordinary accolades for his leadership, integrity and devotion to the best in legal education."

"Mike Schill is a great choice for Chicago," said Geoffrey Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor, who was dean of the Law School from 1987 to 1993. "As he demonstrated in his time as dean at UCLA, he is one of the best law deans in the nation. He brings boundless energy, enthusiasm, experience and excellence to the position."

Schill said he looks forward to working with Chicago students and alumni. "Lawyers who have attended the University of Chicago Law School are known throughout the profession for their sheer intellectual horsepower. They are leaders in our profession and in our community," he said.

Schill succeeds Saul Levmore, who announced earlier this year his intention of stepping down to return to full-time scholarship.

"We would like to extend our gratitude once again to Saul Levmore for eight years of devoted service as dean," wrote Zimmer and Rosenbaum. "He has been an excellent steward of the school and its core values of intellectual engagement and informed argument. We are delighted that he will remain with us in the capacity in which he arrived 11 years ago, namely as an original scholar and distinguished member of our faculty."

The University of Chicago Law School was founded in 1902 with the objective of creating a new kind of law school, professional in its purpose, but with a broader outlook than was then prevalent in the leading American law schools. Located on a residential campus in one of America's great cities, Chicago offers a rigorous and interdisciplinary professional education that blends the study of law with the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences.

Eric Posner
Geoffrey R. Stone
Saul Levmore
Michael H. Schill