The University of St. Thomas School of Law is letting its current Dean, Thomas Mengler, move on to become deanship at St. Mary’s University School of Law, and is bringing in Robert Vischer as its new Dean, as of January 1, according to the National Law Journal.
Vischer is focused on the moral role of lawyers, as well as emphasizing how faith informs their profession as a lawyer. St. Thomas is, after all, a Catholic affiliated law school. But he will need more than a prayer to help the ailing St. Thomas which has been setting only 44 percent of its graduating class (2011) to jobs that require passing the bar. Not only are jobs dipping, but so are applicants, by 20 percent, and also the number of accepted students in each class by 10 students.
“We have built an innovative program of legal education with a distinctive mission which is a big draw for students,” said Vischer. “We take professional formation seriously, equipping our graduates to excel in teamwork and building relationship and impressing upon them the importance of developing a foundational moral commitment to serve others.”
They are aiming, in other words, to develop a brotherhood of honest lawyers. As the University executive vice president Susan Huber says, “His belief in keeping the mission of the school authentic and vibrant balances well with his concern for openly addressing the challenges facing all law schools today.”