John Broderick, the dean who oversaw the former Franklin Pierce Law Center’s integration into the University of New Hampshire, is stepping down at the end of June to head the school’s Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy.
Founded in 1973, partly to improve professional skills training for lawyers, Franklin Pierce changed its name to the University of New Hampshire School of Law in 2010 after signing an affiliation agreement with the University. Broderick was appointed dean in 2011 and given a six-year contract to lead the school from its affiliate status, in which it remained a separate nonprofit, into a full merger.
The boards of the university system and the law school approved the plan in February 2013, and the combination was completed in January, almost two years ahead of schedule.
Officials had originally thought the integration might take as long as five years, Broderick wrote in a letter to University Provost Lisa MacFarlane regarding his transition.
“Surprisingly, things progressed much more quickly than anticipated,” he wrote. “The integration has been wonderful for both the law school and the university, and the opportunities now available will continue to expand.”
The public policy center, established during Broderick’s tenure with the help of the late Sen. Warren B. Rudman, a New Hampshire Republican, offers various financial assistance packages to students who enter public service fields.
The first two Rudman Fellows, who arrive in the fall, will be given tuition exemptions, summer scholarships and one-year post-graduate fellowships in organizations such as the Concord Coalition and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office, according to a statement on the school’s website. In return, they must work in government or public interest positions for at least three years.
Additionally, at least 20 summer fellowships are available each year, along with eight post-graduate fellowships.
“I am excited about my new role,” Broderick wrote. “I remain fully committed to the law school’s continued success and will remain fully engaged with my colleagues to continue the law school’s forward progress.”
For the 2013-14 academic year, the school enrolled 273 students and charged $41,190 in tuition, according to data collected by Lawdragon. Its graduates have posted first-time bar-passage rates of 83 percent or higher in New Hampshire in the two most recent years for which data are available. That’s equal to or higher than the average rate for all students taking the bar exam during those years in that state.
Broderick will be succeeded by Jordan Budd, the associate dean for academic affairs, who will serve as interim dean for three years.
“I have worked closely with Jordan through the integration process, and I know that he has the strategic skills and knowledge required to carry forward John’s legacy,” MacFarlane, the provost, said in a statement.
A Harvard Law graduate, Budd joined the UNH law school in 2006. He previously worked for more than a decade as the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of California’s San Diego and Imperial Counties.
“We are grateful to Dean Broderick for his commitment here these last several years, and I am thankful he will continue to work with all of us at the law school to continue our forward march,” Budd said in a statement.
Work by two California Western Law School students may also continue to yield results moving forward, benefiting consumers long after the students, Marko Radisavljevi and Kyle Welch, have earned their degrees.
Radisavljevi and Welch helped draft recommendations adopted by the Federal Communications Commission’s consumer adviser committee to create a searchable database of complaints and improve delivery of high-speed broadband Internet access to classrooms and libraries.
Radisavljevic, who just completed his second year, and Welch, who graduated this year, worked on the projects with Art Neill, executive director of the law school’s New Media Rights clinic, according to a statement on the school’s website.
The recommendation to modernize the 18-year-old E-rate program that provides money to deliver high-speed Internet service was the most recent and a collaboration of all three. The earlier initiative, undertaken by Radisavljevic and Neill, would allow the public to view hundreds of thousands of consumer complaints about wireless service, television and radio programming and other issues, a system and level of transparency that doesn’t yet exist.
“What if I have an issue with a wireless phone company’s billing practices and I want to know if other people are having the same issue—especially other people in my ZIPcode?” Radisavljevic said in the statement. “The current reporting process does not allow you to figure this out. Our recommendation to the FCC was to give consumers the access to the complaint information in a machine-readable format that they can sort through and organize using a variety of tools.”
U.S. Senators Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Tom Udall, D-Ariz., urged FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a March 25 letter to adopt the recommendations.
“Complaint data are only made public on a very limited basis,” they wrote. “Moreover, the Government Accountability Office found in 2009 that the complaint numbers may be low because many consumers are not aware of the commission’s complaint filing process and procedures.”
The letter cited complaint databases at other federal agencies including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“I was thrilled to see that Senators are actually getting behind our cause and urging the FCC to take action,” Radisavljevic said in the statement. “It’s one thing for them to be on the same side of the cause, but it is another for them to directly reference and cite a recommendation I wrote in their letter to the head of the FCC. It makes me feel good knowing all the research and hard work Art Neill and I did on this is not going to go to waste.”
LAW SCHOOL VALUE
A similar satisfaction is evident among 59 percent of respondents in a Lawdragon survey who rated the value of their law school education, in comparison to the cost, as good or better.
They were less complimentary, though, about job placement: More than 50 percent rated their schools average or worse.
“Law schools need to offer practical skills, preferably in clinical settings,” wrote one of the respondents. “I think law schools should provide the kind of clinical focus that most medical schools give. Most lawyers I know graduated from law school without the slightest idea of how to function as a working lawyer.”
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