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Tower Snow Jr. apparently is not planning to stick around at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison when he steps down as chairman at the end of the year. Several weeks ago Snow threw his name into the ring with 50 other applicants to become dean of the University of Oregon School of Law. He is among five semifinalists for the post, the law school confirmed. The school will be making a decision by December or January, and the new dean will begin work on July 1. Snow was unavailable for comment on Tuesday. The longtime Brobeck chairman announced two weeks ago that he would not seek re-election to a third term at the firm’s helm. His decision came amid speculation that other partners were unhappy with his public pronouncements that there would be no associate layoffs while he was in charge. The move to Eugene, Ore., a quaint university town, would be a dramatic change for Snow, who helped propel Brobeck to the forefront of the fast-paced tech arena. The other candidates for the dean’s post include Thomas Guernsey, dean of the Southern Illinois University School of Law, Alex Johnson Jr., vice provost of the University of Virginia School of Law, Marc Miller, professor at Emory University Law School, and Kellye Testy, professor at Seattle University School of Law. Snow has no background in the academic realm. But his credentials as a well-known leader of one of the top grossing law firms in the country — Brobeck ranked No. 14 in The American Lawyer magazine’s list of top 100 firms with gross revenues of $476 million — caught the attention of the University of Oregon’s search committee. Its alumni magazine, Oregon Lawyer said the committee was looking for a candidate who has “a distinguished career either in academia or practice or both, a strong ability to relate well to people, superior leadership abilities, excellent fundraising skills, and a vision of the importance of public legal education.” University general counsel Melinda Grier chairs the dean search committee. The committee includes seven faculty members and administrators, two law students, two Oregon appeals court judges and a Portland attorney.

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