University officials announced this week that Steinbock has been named permanent dean, subject to approve of the board of trustees.
“During the past year, Dan’s leadership has been a key component to the important progress the college of law has made in teaching and legal scholarship,” said Provost William McMillen.
In addition to becoming interim dean after Douglas Ray stepped down last year, Steinbock has taught at Toledo since 1985. Steinbock said he will focus on raising the profile of the law school, enhancing job opportunities for students and developing the faculty’s scholarship.
The school’s standing in the influential U.S. News & World Report law school rankings has been source of some concern. Toledo dropped from what was the unranked third tier of schools in 2011 to what is now called the unranked second tier on the 2012 list — signifying a drop into the bottom quarter of schools.
“Obviously, nobody is happy about moving down in the rankings, but schools fluctuate over time,” he said. “I’m very hopeful we will be on the way up next year based on what I see with our admissions and employment trends.”
Law school applications were down nationally this year, but Toledo saw a 46% increase during this admissions cycle, Steinbock said. He attributed the increase to new ways that the admissions office was connecting with potential students, and predicted the development would translate into improved credentials for the entering class. That, in turn, should improve the school’s U.S. News ranking.
At the same time, the law school has been building programs to prepare graduates to practice in solo or small firms. Most of the school’s students go on to regional firms or smaller practices, he said.
Karen Sloan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.