"It's reflective of a lot of hard work on our part making sure our students are better prepared," Lane said. "It's excellent and we expect it to go up further."
Lane was chosen from three candidates for dean selected by a search committee. He was the only one from within the school.
His status as an insider did not give him a competitive edge, said Meyer, a Hofstra Law alum. Rather, the committee was impressed with his record.
"Eric has a broad-based understanding of the legal world," Meyer said. "He's been a law professor for 36 years, he has worked in the government sector, and he has published a lot of important work."
As counsel to the New York State Senate Minority, Lane advised the Democratic leadership on policy programs, proposed legislation and Senate negotiations.
The New York City charter revision commission he served on proposed the most far-reaching changes in the city government's decision-making processes in almost a century. In 1990, Lane chaired a task force to implement the revised charter. More recently, he was special counsel to the City Council speaker from 2002 to 2005.
Lane said that his background in public affairs helps him "think collectively" and "hear other people's ideas."
His "mixed experience" in academia and government provides an "enormous benefit" for students, said Frederick Schwarz, who served as the New York City's corporation counsel under Mayor Edward Koch.
"Eric is brilliant with people. He's candid, he's critical, he's very experienced and cares deeply about issues," said Schwarz, who worked alongside Lane as chair of the Charter Revision Committee.