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Matasar Offers ‘Custom’ Education as Dean of New York Law School
by Jennifer Baldino Bonett
As dean of New York Law School, Richard Allan Matasar C’74, L’77 has a bird’s-eye view of legal education. From his perspective, he sees an increasingly interdisciplinary practice of the law, creating a need for attorneys trained in more than the singular field of law; and he foresees significant changes deriving from technological developments and international affairs. He is working to prepare students for a very different world of lawyering.
“I think that many of us have doubts that the legal profession will look anything like it looks right now for most lawyers,” says Matasar. “The effect of the changes to come will profoundly alter what lawyers do. Law school graduates will have to make their own way and market their special skills to give them the edge they will need to succeed in the crowded space occupied by lawyers.”
Matasar has spent much of his career shaping legal education to meet these new and growing needs. At Penn Law, Matasar was research and writing editor of the Law Review. After graduating magna cum laude, he clerked for Circuit Judge Max Rosenn in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, then spent two years as an associate attorney at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. Two titans of Penn Law -- professors A. Leo Levin and Louis B. Schwartz -- encouraged Matasar to pursue a career in the legal academy. He went on to become a nationally recognized scholar in civil procedure and federal jurisdiction. He also has spent much of his professional life thinking about law schools as institutions and how to use education to add value to society.
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