To Gregory Mandel, the Beasley School of Law already has a strong regional reputation, but as the newly appointed dean, he wants to extend this reputation around the world.
Mandel, who has worked at Temple for 10 years and is the Peter J. Liacouras Professor of Law, served as the school’s interim dean after JoAnne Epps left in July to become Provost.
Last week, he was officially appointed to the deanship.
The application for the Beasley School of Law deanship invited people of “nontraditional backgrounds” to apply. Mandel said hiring processes in the future for faculty and other positions will follow this mindset.
Mandel added that he is excited to step out of the “caretaker role” he was in as interim dean.
“This is now a chance to think about where we go from here, how we build on the success that we’ve had,” Mandel added.
Mandel said he wants to expand the law school’s name nationally and internationally through stronger relationships with different institutions. He said he hopes to strengthen relationships and increase its name locally with institutions like the National Constitution Center, and at the state level in the Attorney General’s office.
“With Greg at the helm, the law school is poised to build on the momentum established by decades of faculty excellence and the visionary guidance of its former dean, Provost JoAnne Epps,” President Richard Englert said in a news release.
He said he will also work toward making the school a leader in providing access and admission to underserved groups.
“There’s funding to do some research on what kinds of outreach work and what kinds of support for students before law school, during law school, after law school helps us achieve that mission,” Mandel added. “So we can enhance not only our school and how we attract and support students here, but then also hopefully some of those lessons can redound for other schools and help to improve the role law schools can play in social mobility.”
Supporting some of the law school’s community outreach programs like the Legal Aid Office and the Sheller Center for Social Justice will continue and expand, Mandel said.
He said the role of law schools in society is to improve the lives of their surrounding communities.
“When you think about the role that law schools can play in helping to better support society, we do that through our [scholarly work], we do that through our advocacy, through our community engagement, through training the next generation of lawyers,” Mandel added.
“All of that can help support a community. And we have a community with a lot of needs right around us,” he added. “We have lots of communities in need throughout Philadelphia and throughout the region.”
Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @gill_mcgoldrick.