Niels B. Schaumann
of California Western
School of Law
California Western Announces Selection of New President/Dean
Niels B. Schaumann named to lead San Diego’s oldest law school
SAN DIEGO, April 25, 2012 - The trustees of California Western School of Law today announced the appointment of Niels B. Schaumann as president/dean beginning August 1, 2012. Schaumann currently serves as Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Faculty at William Mitchell College of Law, an independent law school in St. Paul, Minn.
The announcement marks the culmination of a nearly yearlong search process that included campus visits from four final candidates each of whom met with trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the law school.
“The trustees agreed that Dean Schaumann’s familiarity with the requirements of an independent law school, his academic and administrative experience, and his leadership style best meet the needs of our campus community,” said Kenneth L. Greenman ’71, Chairman of the California Western Board of Trustees. “We look forward to welcoming Dean Schaumann to campus later this summer.”
Campus Community Played Large Role in Dean Selection
Greenman recognized the many contributions made by members of the California Western community during the search process, including Jeffrey D. Lewin ’75, chair of the search committee.
“On behalf of the trustees, I extend my sincere thanks to Jeff Lewin and the members of our search team, as well as the many members of our faculty and staff, students and alumni that joined us for meetings with the candidates,” Greenman said. “Each candidate expressed that our community made them feel welcome, and asked many insightful, engaging questions.”
About Dean Schaumann
Schaumann has been a professor at William Mitchell College of Law since 1989, and Vice Dean for Faculty since 2007. An expert in copyright law and federal securities regulation, Schaumann has chaired numerous committees of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law, including committees on broadcasting, recording, and performing artists, pictorial, graphic, sculptural and choreographic works, and others. He is a frequent speaker on topics in copyright law and securities law, and has often served as an expert witness in copyright and securities cases.
Schaumann graduated cum laude from Fordham Law School in 1984, where he was the Managing Editor of the Fordham Law Review. After law school, he was a law clerk to Judge Lawrence W. Pierce of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and practiced law for more than four years with the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, specializing in corporate matters including securities, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged leasing, and capital markets.
Law Schools Share Strong Ties
Schaumann credited the close ties between William Mitchell and California Western as a key factor in his decision. Both schools are members of the Consortium for Innovative Legal Education, a group of independent law schools which work closely to develop new programs and study abroad opportunities for students.
“I already knew much of the great work being done at California Western to prepare students for practice in today’s legal environment, and have great respect for the work of their faculty and staff,” said Schaumann. “I look forward to learning more about the school’s exemplary clinics and programs and helping identify new ways to meet the needs of students, alumni, and the legal community.”
The dean of William Mitchell expressed his support for Schaumann’s new role. “While we are sad to see him go, we know Dean Schaumann will be a great leader for California Western,” said Dean Eric S. Janus. “We wish him the best of luck in his new role as president and dean.”
Building on a Tradition of Service
Trustee Greenman thanked current California Western Dean Steven R. Smith for his leadership during the past 16 years. “Dean Smith has overseen tremendous growth in opportunities for students, faculty, and alumni during his time as dean, and in the service our school provides to the community and the legal profession.”
He continued, “I look forward to seeing Dean Schaumann build on those successes as he helps California Western take its next steps,” Greenman said.