U.Va. Law School Dean to Step Down in 2016, Leaving Legacy of Leadership

June 01, 2015

The University of Virginia announced Monday that Paul G. Mahoney will step down on June 30, 2016 after eight years as dean of the School of Law and return to teaching and scholarship full-time. During his tenure, Mahoney advanced the school’s reputation as one of the nation’s top law schools by leading efforts to strategically expand the faculty, launch curricular innovations, enhance support for students and set records in fundraising.

“Paul’s tenure as dean of the School of Law is nothing short of remarkable,” U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “He has worked tirelessly to maintain the school’s standing as one of the premier law programs in the world. The University community is very grateful for his leadership and looks forward to his continued contributions on the faculty.”

“The School of Law has made significant advances in assembling a distinguished faculty while also recruiting the best students year after year,” Executive Vice President and Provost John D. Simon said. “We can credit these important accomplishments to Paul and his leadership team, who have positioned the law school for even greater success in the future.”

John C. Jeffries Jr., a David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor and the former dean of the School of Law, will chair the search committee for the next dean. Other members of the search committee will be named soon.

Mahoney, a David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor and the Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law, joined the faculty in 1990 and is a prominent expert in securities regulation, corporate finance, and law and economics.

“Leading an institution that I love and admire and have made my home for a quarter-century has been an extraordinary honor and a source of deep satisfaction,” Mahoney said. “But it will also be a pleasure to return to the teaching and scholarship that first attracted me here.”

During one of the toughest recessions in U.S. history, Mahoney helped bring the Law School’s capital campaign to a successful close in 2012, surpassing the $150 million goal by more than $20 million. More than half of alumni participated in annual giving during each year of his deanship.

The Law School’s endowment – which funds scholarships, professorships and other academic initiatives – had a market value of $463 million on June 30, 2014, which makes it the fifth-largest endowment among the nation’s law schools. Despite the recession, the Law School’s endowment on a per-student basis has grown a remarkable 55 percent during Mahoney’s tenure.

During his years as dean, 26 new tenured and tenure-track professors have joined the Law School faculty, including several high-profile lateral hires.

Mahoney also helped shepherd several of the school’s curricular innovations, including the Program in Law and Public Service, an effort to provide support and mentoring to students seeking careers in public service, and an expansion of clinical and externship opportunities. In 2013 he oversaw the naming of the John W. Glynn, Jr. Law & Business Program, an academic program designed to better prepare students to serve corporate clients.

During Mahoney’s tenure, the school has increased career counseling services and resources for students, including a major building renovation to house the Karsh Student Services Center. In the past several years, the Law School has deepened its commitment to public service through a range of fellowships and its loan forgiveness program, which have dedicated millions of dollars to getting students’ careers off to a promising start in legal aid offices, prosecutors’ and public defenders’ offices, federal agencies, courts and nonprofit organizations across the country.

Throughout, Mahoney has overseen an operation focused on keeping costs as low as possible for students. The Law School was the only top-10 law school recognized for its administrative efficiency in a recent ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

During his deanship, Mahoney also found time to write a book that drew on his research of the history of securities regulation. The University of Chicago Press published “Wasting a Crisis: Why Securities Regulation Fails” this spring.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Mahoney is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale Law School. He clerked for Judge Ralph K. Winter Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Mahoney then practiced with the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell in New York before joining the U.Va. Law faculty.

Mahoney is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a past recipient of the All-University Outstanding Teacher Award and the Law School’s Traynor Award for excellence in faculty scholarship.

Media Contact

Mary Wood

Chief Communications Officer University of Virginia School of Law