STANFORD -- Stanford University Law School has turned to Virginia for its next leader: Mary Elizabeth Magill, vice dean of the University of Virginia's law school, where she has taught since 1997 and oversees the school's curriculum, student records and student affairs.
"Everyone who knows Liz Magill is impressed by her creative and insightful approach to problems and her skill at engaging a community in their solution," Stanford provost John Etchemendy said, in the Monday announcement.
She will assume her new position Sept. 1, succeeding Larry Kramer, who is departing to head the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
An award-winning scholar with expertise in administrative law and constitutional structure, Magill earned a history degree from Yale University and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. She clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
"Stanford Law School is an extraordinary law school," Magill said. "It has had a remarkable series of leaders and, as a result, is today the most innovative law school in the country. I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as its next dean."
A native of Fargo, ND., Magill, 46, is married to environmental attorney Leon Szeptycki, former general counsel for Trout Unlimited and current director of Virginia Law's Environmental Law and Conservation Clinic in Charlottesville. They have two children, 14 and 11.
Her father is Frank
"Our family gatherings are a little like law firm parties," Magill joked in a 2008 interview. "I thought seriously about studying history...but decided I wanted to become a legal academic because my work could be connected to the everyday world and I would also have the capacity to advocate on behalf of others."
One specific area of interest is public law between the mid-'60s and mid-'70s -- when Congress created a new generation of regulatory agencies focused on health, safety and consumer's rights, and legal doctrine changed dramatically.
"Liz will bring impeccable judgment, grace and level-headedness to the deanship," said Paul Mahoney, dean of the University of Virginia School of Law. "Her style is inclusive and collegial, but decisive."
Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 650-492-4098.