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Emory University School of Law dean candidate Thomas B. Metzloff addressed students and faculty on Wednesday, and, just like the last dean hopeful, he focused on the Atlanta school’s need for money. Metzloff, a professor at Duke University’s law school, said another $25 million in the school’s coffers could make a real difference; another dean candidate, Emory law professor Polly J. Price, told students last Friday that the school could use an additional $4 million or $5 million a year. Metzloff, 48, seemed personable and relaxed, pacing in front of the first row of seats and cracking jokes that drew frequent laughter. But he rarely made definitive statements about what he’d do as Emory’s law dean. Instead, he tended to seesaw between options and to pose rhetorical questions on some of the school’s challenges. “It’s presumptuous of me to come in and say, ‘Here’s what I think you should do,’ ” he said. “How does Emory law school get more resources, and for what?” he asked. “The central administration thinks they’re appropriately funding the law school, and in many ways they are.” He added that though the university’s endowment is large — double the size of Duke’s — the law school’s endowment isn’t as high as it should be. Emory Law’s endowment is about $21 million. “I think they [the university] need to make a major investment in the law school now,” he said. “I don’t know what form that takes. … The resources are there. They may not feel like they’re a wealthy school right now, but the resources are there.” Metzloff suggested building the school’s health care curriculum and looking for synergies between law and intellectual property, biotechnology and medical ethics. Are there enough faculty with these specialties that are hirable? he asked, then answered, saying he wasn’t sure. He also pointed out that health care constitutes about 15 percent of the country’s gross national product and that few law schools have established solid law and health care programs. He said a major initiative between the law school and health care entities — the school of public health or the Centers for Disease Control, for example — could benefit Emory Law because health care has a lot of resources. Metzloff also addressed the school’s international law program. “You’ve got a really strong faculty in that and not much program,” he said. A larger LL.M. class could make money, he said, but added, “You’re a little late in that game, because other schools have seen that as a cash cow. … Maybe it’s too late because of the economy. … I don’t think it’s too late.” Also, he said, “It’s probably time to look hard at, sort of, community life issues.” Metzloff said he’d want faculty to be more engaged with students and to encourage mentoring relationships. He noted that upper-level students have a lot of required courses, saying, “I don’t know if that’s necessary or not.” He explained that they should be given some choice, though classes such as business associations and evidence are essential regardless of the type of law a student intends to practice. He suggested at least one small seminar for first-years, and said the school needs more faculty for smaller classes, and slightly lower teaching loads to encourage scholarship. That, of course, costs money. One audience member noted that fund raising is a major part of the dean’s job, and asked, “Have you ever sold anything before?” Metzloff said he’d never sold anything to someone who didn’t want to buy it, but that he thought he’d generated the most grants at Duke. “I have no problem asking people for money,” he said. He also said the school needed to improve its fund-raising muscle and to hire more staff, including someone to work directly for the law school dean. The annual fund now is $400,000 or so and could be increased to $1 million within a few years, he said. “You need to be out there raising serious and significant assets,” he said. “Twenty-five million real money in the law school here today could make a real difference.” Metzloff said he met Tuesday with Emory University President William M. Chace and others in central administration. “These are folks that on some level have an appreciation for the law school, but on other levels have so many agendas,” he said. “Their plates are overfull. … I think the challenge is, how do you reach a consensus with them about what should be done?” Metzloff is a 1979 graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as articles editor of the Harvard Law Review. He then clerked for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and later for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White. He began teaching at Duke’s law school in 1985, and spent three years as senior associate dean for academic affairs. He teaches courses in civil procedure, professional liability and ethics, mass torts, and dispute resolution, and his scholarship has focused primarily on medical malpractice. Metzloff has Georgia connections. From 1981 to 1985, he practiced with Bondurant, Miller, Hishon & Stephenson, the predecessor to Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore. He also co-authored a book on legal ethics with L. Ray Patterson, a former Emory law school dean who is now a law professor at the University of Georgia.

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