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Behind The Columns

by john h. garvey, dean

Dean John GarveyA Banner Year

BC Law enjoys unparalleled successes as planning and commitment to excellence pay off.

When I arrived at Boston College Law School in the summer of 1999, much of the glow of a thriving economy and soaring stock market was still with us. Boston College Law School was doing very well and we looked forward to a future of continued accomplishment.

The subsequent strains in the economic marketplace, with plummeting stock markets and layoffs throughout the corporate and legal worlds, have become all too familiar. Yet Boston College Law School has continued to thrive and to enjoy exciting achievements. Our success is due, I believe, to a commitment by our faculty and staff to position BC Law School to continue to be one of the best law schools in the country. It is due, too, to the support we receive from alumni and friends who believe in who we are and what our future should be.

Early in my tenure I invited the faculty to identify the areas of our academic program on which we should focus our attention to build added strength. We are now enjoying in great measure the fruits of those deliberations. Over the past three years we have recruited excellent new faculty members in the corporate and international arenas. Our strength was boosted as well by the addition of new faculty in Tax, Evidence, Criminal Law, and in our clinical program. Most recently, we have welcomed Filippa Marullo Anzalone as the new associate dean for library and computing services.

One dramatic indicator of our success has been our soaring admissions applications. We have gone from 5,362 applications in the Class of 2003 to 7,232 applications in the Class of 2005. No other law school in the country had more applicants per place than we did for this year's 1L class. We clearly are seen as a place of great value and interest. One cannot overlook that in periods of economic uncertainty law schools experience increases in applications. Our increases, however, have exceeded the national average. I am confident that we hold a distinctive advantage over other law schools because of who we are and what we stand for.

We are gratified that our alumni and friends have responded generously to what we have accomplished. You will see in the annual Report on Giving that in the fiscal year just ended we reached record levels in total pledges and in contributions to the Law School Fund. As our aspirations for the future continue to be refined and pursued, such financial support is essential to our ability to fulfill those aspirations.

It would be wrong not to acknowledge that there are stresses in the world in which we operate. In the last two years, graduates of law schools across the country have found that jobs aren't as readily available as in the heady years of the 1990's. Happily, 75 percent of our Class of 2002 had job offers, but that number is lower than we want. Our Career Services office continues to help our students find meaningful work.

The faltering economy, however, has not altered our fundamental success in providing our students with the best possible education. The news that our graduates taking the Massachusetts Bar last summer had a 95 percent first-time passage rate, is but one impressive example of our continuing commitment to excellence.

Our accomplishments have a momentum that adds vigor to our efforts to be the best law school we can be. We enter the new year determined to continue to live up to our promise.