Hands-on learning now crucial part of legal education
LAW AND ORDER: David A. Logan, dean of the Roger Williams University School of Law, said being “totally engaged in the job” has kept him in the position for a decade.
By Patrick Anderson PBN Staff Writer
David A. Logan has been in charge of Roger Williams University School of Law for a decade, half of the school’s existence and an unusually long run for a law school dean. This past summer, Logan announced that the upcoming academic year will be his last as dean as he’ll focus exclusively on teaching law at Roger Williams next fall.
In a decade at Roger Williams, Logan has improved the rate of graduates passing the bar exam and developed the school’s real-world-learning programs. His departure will come at another moment of change for the law school, which expects to move its Providence campus (along with other RWU departments located in the city) to a location with more space for the growing practical programs.
PBN: The average deanship is around four years; you’ve stayed 10. Why did you stay so long and why are you stepping down now?
LOGAN: I stayed so long because I am totally engaged in the job. As a young school, there was a lot to work on. The first half was spent on two tasks: one was getting us membership in the Association of American Law Schools, and that process succeeded, as did our American Bar Association inspection. That was the first five years. And then the next five years was focused on improving outputs for graduates.
PBN: That’s the rate of graduates passing the bar, right?
LOGAN: That’s the way you measure a law school. Virtually every student who graduates sits down in July and takes the bar exam. Bar examiners don’t ask you what school you went to, you just have to write good answers. The thing I am most proud of is we were turning out classes in the 50 and 60 percent range and now we are in the 80s and 90s.
PBN: What has changed about Roger Williams Law School that’s made that possible?