June 8, 2012
The National Law Journal notes that CUNY Law “is turning into something of a finishing school for deans,” highlighting the fact that in the past three months, two CUNY Law associate deans have been named as deans of two different law schools. Most recently, the University of Massachusetts School of Law-Dartmouth named as its dean CUNY Law Associate Dean Mary Lu Bilek. In April, Albany Law School announced that CUNY Law Associate Dean Penelope Andrews would become its 17th president and dean; she will be Albany’s first female president.
From left: Associate Dean Penny Andrews, Dean Michelle J. Anderson, and Associate Dean Mary Lu Bilek.
The article quotes Bilek about law schools shifting more of their focus toward building students’ practical skills: “Legal education is in a moment of change, and CUNY was out ahead of that change.”
Bilek joined CUNY Law in 1985 and served as Interim Dean of the CUNY School of Law School during the 2005-06 academic year. She served as Chair of the Committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, authoring its reports on the bar exam and bridge-the-gap programs. She regularly serves as an accreditation Site Visit Team member for the ABA. Bilek is a 2007 Fellow of the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Center for Law and Economic Justice and FairTest. She chaired the ABA Section on Legal Education Diversity Committee in 2010-11 and is a member of its Special Committee on the Professional Educational Continuum.
Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Andrews is an international human rights scholar, professor, and advocate. Until 2007 she was on the faculty at CUNY Law School for over a decade, before accepting appointments at Valparaiso Law School and La Trobe University in Australia. She returned to CUNY Law School in 2010 as Academic Dean. A frequent presenter, Andrews was recently the plenary speaker at the 2011 International Conference on Human Rights Education in Durban, South Africa. A highly regarded scholar, she is the contributing coauthor of The Post-Apartheid Constitutions: Perspectives on South Africa’s Basic Law and coeditor of Law and Rights: Global Perspectives on Constitutionalism and Governance. Her forthcoming book, From Cape Town to Kabul: Reconsidering Women’s Human Rights will be published in 2012. In 2011 she served as chair of the AALS Section on Minorities.