It doesn't hurt, Meyer said, that faculty and students "like him and trust him."
'DEEP RELATIONS' WITH ALUMNI
Lane's goal for the school is to turn out practice-ready lawyers. That means more emphasis on simulating practical skills such as how to interview clients, how to lobby and how to approach administrative agencies.
Last fall, Lane appointed Jennifer Gundlach to the newly created post of senior associate dean for experiential education. Gundlach has been serving as the senior associate dean for academic affairs but will give up the position. She will work to expand externships, clinical offerings and opportunities for students to meet the state's new 50-hour pro bono requirement for bar admission.
Lane also has spent several months getting feedback from alumni, who could be potential future employers, on ways to improve students' practical skills.
"He'll ask them, 'What are you seeing? What can we be doing to better prepare our students?'" Gundlach said. "He has incredibly deep relations with our alumni base. He has been bringing alumni along to every meeting where he thinks they might be interested."
Several alumni in Washington, D.C., have agreed to host students as part of a full-time, semester-long externship program to start next fall. Lane also has brought alumni into recruitment efforts.
Sensing job opportunities in health law and policy, Hofstra is developing a program where students will examine underserved communities' access to quality health care. The school recently received a $1 million gift to support that project.
Lane recently oversaw the reorganization of the administration to devote more resources to career services. The initiative meant cuts to some "excess" staff, Lane said, but no faculty were eliminated.
The school's bar pass rate is creeping upward. Last year, 82 percent of graduates who took the bar exam for the first time passed, compared to 81 percent in 2011 and 78 percent in 2010. Lane credits the faculty for that progress.