Dean’s Message: Winter 2008

Originally published in UF Law magazine Winter 2008 (.pdf)

In the Business of Shaping Leaders

In the four and a half years I have been privileged to serve as the dean of your law school, I have learned a great deal about our traditions, our history, and the graduates who have walked through our halls. It is strikingly clear that among our college’s greatest achievements are its contributions to training and developing leaders for our nation, our state, and our communities. Because I have spent nearly half of my own career in academic leadership positions of one kind or another, I have had a growing interest in learning more about what is involved in developing and nurturing leadership. In turn, this has given me insights into the history of our college, which through the years has been so successful in producing graduates who lead.

This issue of UFLaw, like others before it, is filled with examples of our college’s alumni, faculty, and students who have demonstrated great aptitude for leadership. This is evident in the stories about not only the alumni inducted into the college’s Heritage of Leadership but also the alumni who have worked to vindicate justice, who provide leadership in our profession, who are leaders in government service, and who lead by shouldering the problems and burdens of their clients. It seems clear enough that if someone wants to be a competent and skilled lawyer, obtaining one’s legal education at the Levin College of Law is a good thing to do. It is also evident, however, that UF Law does more than prepare its students to be first-rate professionals. UF Law also prepares its students to be leaders in the workplace, the profession, our state, our nation, and our communities. Our college’s tradition of leadership development is something which we should embrace, honor, and project into the future.

This issue of UF Law also tells the first story of the “Florida Tomorrow” capital campaign, which the University of Florida kicked off this fall. The $47 million law school campaign goal will add resources to skillfully train law students to be ethical leaders in law, politics, and business and to contribute positively to social and economic development in our state and nation. You can read more about the campaign and our college’s part in it beginning on page 10, and I encourage you to do so. Ultimately, this campaign is about leadership – positioning our law school to play a decisive role in developing the next generation of leaders for our profession, our state, our nation, and our communities. I encourage you to become a part of thisambitious effort.

Thank you for reading this message and this magazine, and for your support of our law school. We hope you enjoy this issue, including the stories it tells and pictures it contains of many of the students, our future leaders, who will benefit from the generosity of our supporters.

- Robert H. Jerry, II
Dean; Levin, Mabie and Levin Professor

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