After an almost six-month search, the University of Richmond School of Law has found its next leader.
Wendy Collins Perdue, an associate dean at Georgetown University Law Center, will take over as dean of UR’s law school effective July 1.
She’ll replace John Douglass, who has been dean of the law school since 2008. Douglass told the school last year that he wanted to go back to teaching full time after barely two years on the job as dean.
Perdue, 57, has been at Georgetown since 1982 and said that recent developments in the legal field will keep her plenty busy as head legal Spider.
“There are a lot of changes taking place in the legal profession,” Perdue said. “The demand for legal services will continue. But the delivery of legal services is changing. It will require schools to be more creative and nimble in training students to respond.”
Those trends are also trickling down to law school graduates, she said.
“It will be harder for students to graduate and simply step on an escalator and hope it will take them some place,” she said.
Perdue said she also knows that the price tag of law school is an issue. (For a great story on that problem, click here.)
“The cost of legal education is an ongoing issue for everyone,” Perdue said. “Changes in the legal market may be putting some downward pressure on salaries, and that makes it harder for students to pay off loans.
“There are no easy answers. But we’ll be experimenting.”
Perdue said she likely won’t teach during her first year at UR but will look to do so eventually.
“It will take me a year to get my grounding at the new institution,” she said.
She takes the helm of a law school with 455 students and 43 full-time faculty members. Purdue said one of her first tasks will be finding candidates to fill some faculty vacancies.
Perdue received her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and her law degree from Duke. She practiced law in Washington prior to joining Georgetown’s faculty.
And after almost 30 years as a Hoya, Perdue did say that it will take some time to get used to a new mascot.
“I’ll have to adjust to whole Spider thing.”
Michael Schwartz covers the legal industry for BizSense. Please send news tips to [email protected].