The University of Connecticut School of Law has chosen a well-known Connecticut lawyer to be its new dean.
Tim Fisher, a partner in the Hartford office of McCarter & English, has worked extensively in areas of construction and commercial law. He is currently president of the Connecticut Bar Foundation and recently chaired a statewide committee that looked into judicial pay. As the new dean, Fisher will bring a wealth of practice experience to students of the law school, administrators said.
Among his most notable recent cases — he recently represented the state in a lawsuit against contractors who built the UConn law library, which has had water damages issues since it was built in the mid-1990s. "Tim is a visionary and charismatic leader who will develop and implement a strategic vision for the Law School to grow and thrive in a changing legal environment," Mun Y. Choi, UConn’s provost, and Sally M. Reiss, the vice provost for academic affairs, said in a joint announcement released Tuesday.
Jeremy Paul left the position last year to become dean at Northeastern University School of Law. A national search to find a replacement was launched last summer. The past few years have been difficult for law schools everywhere, as enrollments are down and job prospects for law school candidates are not as bright as they once were.
In addition to Fisher, finalists for the position included James Hackney, a law professor and former associate dean at Northeastern University; Joseph MacDougald, who is a professor in residence at UConn law school; and Edward Stein, vice dean at Cardozo School of Law in New York.
The announcement was made to professors and staff at the law school Monday afternoon, a day before the U.S. News and World Reports came out with its annual law school rankings. According to the report, Yale was the top-ranked law school in the country. UConn was 58th (up from 62nd last year), and Quinnipiac is 134th.
Fisher succeeds Jeremy Paul, who left UConn last year and is now the dean at Northeastern University School of Law. The school is currently being led by interim Dean Willajeanne F. McLean, a UConn professor and former associate dean for academic affairs.
Fisher will start his new job on July 1.
UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said Fisher’s practical "experience will be a great thing for students of the law school."
A native of New Haven, Fisher received his B.A. in economics from Yale University in 1975 and his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1978. He lives in West Hartford with his wife, Dina S. Fisher, a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law.
In addition to his law practice, Fisher has taught extensively on ethics to practicing lawyers and students, and has published a treatise and numerous articles in professional journals.
A past officer of the Connecticut Bar Association, Fisher has led or co-led task forces for the association, including those on the Future of the Legal Profession, Confidentiality and the Courts, and the Future of Connecticut’s Probate Court System.
In areas of public service, Fisher has been appointed by two different governors to serve on commissions related to justice and the courts, most recently in his current role as chair of the Commission on Judicial Compensation. As president of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, he helps raise money for legal aid programs.
Fisher has also been active in providing pro bono service in areas of marriage equality, prison conditions and volunteer criminal defense. In that capacity, he has led McCarter & English’s sponsorship of the Connecticut Innocence Project, which helps provide legal services for wrongly convicted individuals.