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UM Law School Dean Steps Down, Returns to Teaching and Writing
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After improving the national rankings and reputation of the University of Montana’s School of Law, Dean Irma Russell will be stepping down to rejoin the faculty and begin researching a book project. Russell will remain dean of the law school until the faculty and administration can decide on a replacement.

Russell joined the UM School of Law in 2009, leaving the College of Law at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma where she served as the director of the National Energy/Environmental Law and Policy Institute. As the dean of UM, she helped improve the school’s standing in the eyes of the legal community, and oversaw a dramatic increase in the number of applications. In 2012, the school increased the number of applications it received by 10.5 percent in a period during which law school applications generally declined.

  
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UM School of Law was one of the biggest movers on this year’s U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of law schools, moving up 32 spots from the previous year’s list. Speaking with the Helena Independent Record, Russell said of the improvements, “We’ve gotten good attention. It’s very gratifying to see that students are noticing us more. We’re doing more to get the word out, we have a wonderful new admissions director, and we’re becoming better at putting more information up on our website.”

In 2003, Russell penned a book about the American Bar Association on ethics, and a part of the reason she seeks a return to teaching is to create a sequel to that book. “A lot has changed that needs to be addressed in a new book,” said Russell. “Things are in flux, and we decided it’s time to follow up on the changes.”

Image Credit: University of Montana School of Law website

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