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John Jeffries Jr. has some big shoes to fill and he knows it. After 10 years, University of Virginia School of Law Dean Robert Scott will step down on July 1. He will take a sabbatical and then return to teaching, with Jeffries moving into the dean’s office. “The prospect of following Bob Scott as dean is at once humbling and exciting,” Jeffries says. Scott has been universally applauded by the UVA community for raising more than $200 million in seven years. But Jeffries, a member of the UVA faculty since 1975, has serious credentials himself. A class of 1973 UVA law school alumnus, Jeffries had the highest grade average in his class. He followed that with a clerkship for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell Jr. He penned a study of would-be presidential assassin John Hinckley’s insanity defense and, in 1994, published a well-received biography of Powell. Jeffries, who was chosen from a field of about 90 candidates, was academic associate dean from 1994 to 1999 and acting dean when Scott took a sabbatical in 1999.

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