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May 12, 2004

NYU professor to succeed Sullivan as dean of Law School

Larry Kramer, a professor and associate dean at New York University Law School, will succeed Kathleen Sullivan as dean of Stanford Law School, President John Hennessy announced Wednesday.

Kramer is the associate dean for research and academics and the Russell D. Niles Professor at NYU. He has written extensively in the areas of constitutional law and history, federal courts, conflict of laws and civil procedure. He will begin his tenure as Dean and Richard E. Lang Professor of Law Sept. 1.

"Professor Kramer is a dynamic and thoughtful legal scholar and educator," Hennessy said. "This combination of outstanding scholarship and commitment to training the next generation of lawyers makes him a compelling choice for Stanford Law School because those values are at the core of the school's mission. I am delighted that he will be joining the university's senior academic leadership and building on Kathleen's legacy."

Kramer graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from the University of Chicago Law School in 1984. He clerked for Judge Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan. He joined the faculty at the University of Chicago Law School in 1986, becoming a full professor in 1990. He moved to the University of Michigan Law School in 1991 and then to NYU in 1994.

His most recent book, "The People Themselves: Popular Constitutionalism and Judicial Review," was released just this week by Oxford University Press. He has published several other books as well as dozens of journal articles.

Provost John Etchemendy, who co-chaired the search committee with Law Professor Richard Craswell, said Kramer is a perfect fit for Stanford and noted that he added to the law school's national eminence in the area of constitutional law.

"Stanford is probably unique in having an unbroken run of four constitutional scholars at the helm of its law school over the last generation," Etchemendy said. "Moreover, Larry Kramer is widely considered to be among the best and the brightest of the new generation of leaders in legal education. I am certain that he is the right person to build on the school's tradition of excellence and take it to the next level."

Craswell noted that Kramer was highly respected by his peers nationally.

"Larry Kramer is someone whose colleagues in legal education believe to be one of the next great law school deans," Craswell said. "We were delighted to be able to bring him to Stanford in that role."

Sullivan announced last fall that she would complete her tenure as dean this summer. At that time, President Hennessy asked Sullivan to serve as the inaugural director of a new Stanford Center on Constitutional Law. Upon completing a one-year sabbatical, she will return to teaching and leadership of the center.

"Professor Kramer brings strong academic values and exciting new ideas from his experience at three great law schools, where he has worked with a string of great deans," Sullivan said. "In an increasingly competitive race to attract and retain the best faculty and students, his comparative experience will be invaluable. We have long sought to persuade him to join our faculty. That he now will join us as dean is an added windfall."

Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig welcomed the appointment, saying Kramer "will be an outstanding dean."

"I have known Larry Kramer from the very start of my legal career," Lessig said. "If we must give up Kathleen Sullivan, then there is absolutely no one else I would rather see replace her. He has strong values, a good ear and a powerful capacity to lead."

Kramer is married to Sarah Delson and has a 3-year-old daughter.



Alan Acosta, University Communications, (650) 725-8396

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