After a search that lasted more than a year, Indiana University Maurer School of Law has chosen a leading scholar of transnational law as its dean.
Austen L. Parrish will become dean of the IU Maurer School of Law Jan. 1, with the title James H. Rudy Professor of Law. His appointment is subject to confirmation by the IU Board of Trustees.
He comes to IU Maurer from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, where he serves as interim dean and CEO. From 2008 to 2012, he was the school’s vice dean with responsibility for its overall academic program.
IU Bloomington Provost and former IU Maurer dean Lauren Robel praised Parrish as an exciting leader who will inspire faculty, students, staff and alumni.
“Austen’s intellect, energy and entrepreneurial spirit fit well with our law school and will strengthen its belief in and dedication to finding innovative ways to prepare students for the challenges of the global legal profession,” Robel said.
Parrish is an expert on transnational litigation, civil procedure and conflict of laws. He is also a widely published scholar on transnational law and the use of domestic law and institutions to address global challenges.
In addition, he is co-author of two books: “Effective Lawyering: A Checklist Approach to Legal Writing,” widely used by lawyers and law firms, and “Hard-nosed Advice from a Cranky Law Professor,” a popular guide for new law students.
Before entering academia, Parrish practiced complex business litigation at O’Melveny & Myers. He said that he is privileged and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the dean of IU Maurer School of Law.
“Part of what makes the school so special has been its ability to be a distinctive innovator and leader in legal education while deeply understanding the importance of a global outlook,” he said. “The school makes a difference in the futures of its students by providing a first-rate educational experience in an intellectually rigorous and collaborative environment. I am eager to work with faculty, staff, students, alumni and others to advance and build on this extraordinary tradition of excellence.”
Parrish was selected through an extensive nationwide search from the fall of 2012 to November 2013. Hannah Buxbaum, chair in legal ethics at IU Maurer, has served as interim dean since Robel moved to the provost office.
Southwestern, a private nonprofit law school founded in 1911, is known for its long-standing emphasis on diversity, public service and innovative programs. A pioneer in legal education for women and minorities, the school has strong ties to the Los Angeles business, entertainment and legal communities.
As interim dean at the California school, Parrish oversaw construction of a $20 million student housing complex, established relationships and collaborations with local and international universities, and led the move from the silent to the public phase of a capital campaign.
His colleague at Southwestern, Bryant Garth, served as dean of IU Maurer School of Law from 1986 to 1990.
“Austen brings extraordinary talent and remarkable energy to his teaching, scholarship and administration,” Garth said. “He is going to be a superb dean and I am really happy that Indiana will be the beneficiary of his leadership.”•