Posted September 5, 2007

Robert Reinstein to step down after 19 years as dean of the Law School

Robert J. Reinstein, who has been dean of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law for nearly 20 years and serves as vice president for International Programs, announced his intention to step down from both positions in order to return full time to teaching and scholarship, effective June 30, 2008.

“My first love of law has always been centered on teaching and scholarship, and I am anxious to pursue my passion by returning to the faculty,” Reinstein said. “While this was a difficult decision for me to make, I believe strongly in the vision and judgment of Temple University’s president, Ann Weaver Hart, and know that she will choose excellent successors for Temple Law and for the university’s international programs.”

“I am most grateful for Dean Reinstein's remarkable service to Temple,” President Hart said. “Under his leadership, the Beasley School of Law has grown by every measure. In addition, Bob’s impact on Temple has been felt globally, through his work in developing and expanding international programs in China, at Temple University Japan, at Temple Rome and around the world.

Robert Reinstein
Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University

I am grateful for the close working relationship we have shared, and know that he will be a fantastic addition to our faculty as he returns to the classroom. I wish him many years of success.”

Two separate searches will be launched to recruit successors to Reinstein as Law School dean and as vice president for International Programs, Hart said.

Reinstein is the longest-serving dean in American law schools. During his tenure as dean, Temple’s Law School increased its endowment from $4 million to $57 million, expanded the full-time faculty by 20 percent and created 13 endowed faculty chairs and more than 70 endowed student scholarship funds. One of those funds (the endowment created by James Beasley) is providing full tuition scholarships to 41 law students in this entering class. Applications have more than doubled, with 4,800 applicants competing for 300 seats, and this fall’s entering class has the highest academic credentials in the Law School’s history.

The 2006 graduating class achieved the highest first-time bar pass rate for any Pennsylvania law school. Temple ranks first both in its placement rate of new associates hired to practice in large Philadelphia law firms and among all regional law schools in J.D. graduates hired for public-interest jobs. Under Reinstein’s leadership, the Law School solidified its position as the nation’s premier educator of trial lawyers and as a leader in international legal education. Nearly 25 percent of Temple’s law students study abroad at campuses in Rome, Tokyo and Beijing, where Temple also operates the first foreign law degree-granting program in China’s history. In 2002, the prime minister of China presented Reinstein with the National Friendship Award in recognition of Temple’s contributions to the development of the rule of law in that country.

Reinstein also built upon the Law School’s longstanding commitment to the local community. For more than 30 years, Temple has sponsored a program that provides hundreds of Philadelphia high school students with a challenging and motivating preview of a legal career. Temple law students serve the North Philadelphia community as volunteers and in an extensive array of clinical training programs, with one-third of 2007 graduates receiving awards for public service. The Temple Legal Aid Office has represented economically disadvantaged citizens of North Philadelphia for more than 50 years.

As vice president for International Programs, Reinstein led Temple’s campus in Tokyo through a period of tremendous growth. Temple Japan has 3,000 students, with undergraduate majors in liberal arts, business, economics, art and communications, as well as graduate programs in business, education and law. It is the first foreign university campus to be officially recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Education, allowing it to sponsor student visas. Large numbers of students from the United States and around the world are joining Japanese students in pursuing full degree programs at TUJ, which will mark its 25th anniversary in November.

Reinstein also oversaw Temple’s campus in Rome, which provides semester-abroad and summer programs in art, art history, liberal arts, business and law to nearly 600 American students each year. External site evaluations have consistently ranked Temple Rome as one of the best American study-abroad programs. Temple Rome celebrated its 40th anniversary earlier this year.

Prior to becoming dean and vice president, Reinstein served as a law professor and Temple’s general counsel from 1982 to 1989. He joined Temple as a member of the law faculty in 1969. He was a contributing attorney for the NAACP and worked on cases that successfully integrated the Philadelphia Police and Fire departments, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Operating Engineers Union Local 542. He worked for the U.S. Department of Justice from 1977 through 1980 and received three awards for distinguished service.