Dean IU Maurer Parrish leaves UC-Irvine Law School

Austen Parrish, dean of Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law and one of the nation’s 25 longest-serving law school deans, will leave the Bloomington institution to become dean of the University of California. , Irvine School of Law in Irvine, California.

Austen Parris

The Irvine School posted the announcement of the appointment on its website Thursday, calling Parrish a “respected scholar, gifted teacher and admired law academy leader.” He will take up his new duties on August 3.

“With his clear vision, proven leadership and outstanding accomplishments, Austen Parrish is the right person to guide UCI law to greater heights, and we are delighted to have him join the UCI,” said the UC-Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman in a statement.

Parrish became dean of IU Maurer in 2014, succeeding Lauren Robel, who led the law school from 2003 until 2011, when she was named the university’s rector. He came to Bloomington from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, where he had served as acting dean and CEO.

According to the Rosenblatt’s Deans Database blog, Parrish served IU Maurer for 8.28 years, which places him as the 24and the nation’s oldest law school dean.

He is credited with initiating a far-reaching strategic plan at Bloomington Law School, growing its research centers, establishing new clinics and public service initiatives, expanding interdisciplinary degrees, and promoting diversity and inclusion. Additionally, early in his tenure, when many questioned the cost and value of a law degree, he set up pipeline programs with colleges and universities across the state and nation. to generate interest in legal careers and recruit top talent to study at IU Maurer.

Speaking to Indiana Lawyer, Parrish deflected the praise.

“I was blessed to follow an absolutely fabulous team and then have the support of an amazing provost for nine years,” Parrish said, referring to Robel. “It certainly made my job easier.”

Parrish will be just the third dean to lead the UC-Irvine School of Law, which first enrolled students in 2009. Founded by Erwin Chemerinsky, UCI Law was ranked 37th in the 2023 list of the best law schools in the world. US News & World Report. Of its 2020 graduates, 72.7% were employed 10 months after graduation, and the weighted average first-time pass rate for the class of 2020 was 86.6%.

“Former Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and Song Richardson set the bar for leadership at UCI Law very high, and to be selected to follow in their footsteps is an honor,” Parrish said in a statement released by the UCI. “It is an exciting time to lead this simply extraordinary school and to help build its reputation as a leading and innovative academic community.”

Parrish, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from the University of Washington and a law degree from Columbia University. His wife, Leslie, is a senior attorney at the Indiana Legal Services Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic.

For more on this story, see the April 13, 2022 issue of Indiana Lawyer.

Jon J. Epps