Dean J. Rich Leonard Celebrates Eight Years Leading Campbell Law School

Dean Rich Leonard

RALEIGH, N.C.—Campbell Law School Dean J. Rich Leonard celebrates his eighth anniversary at the helm of Campbell Law School.

Of the six law schools in North Carolina, Leonard holds the longest tenure of any dean. In fact, this anniversary lands him among the rare 10.78% of U.S. law school deans, who have served eight years or longer. What makes these numbers even more impressive is the average law school dean’s tenure is 3.35 years, according to an analysis by TaxProf Blog.

Early in his career at the school, Campbell Law was given the top spot in Bloomberg Business’ Top 10 most underrated law schools in America list. Leonard has proven the “underrated” title to be more than a misnomer during his eight-year tenure, where the number of applications and students has grown not only in quantity but quality. In addition, alumni engagement, donations to the law school and the bar passage rate have also continued to climb under his watch.

In addition to an extensive list of significant contributions he has made to the school, Leonard’s outstanding response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is a further testament to his exceptional leadership in our community. He made the bold decision to firmly support holding the bar exam in-person for the summer of 2020. Leonard said at the time he realized how important a law license would be for the future success of his students and knew the exam could not be postponed.

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