Alums fill dean posts at Law School



While Yale undergraduates may wonder what it takes to gain admission to Yale Law School, which had a 7.6 percent acceptance rate last year, it is perhaps even more startling to imagine what it takes to join the ranks of the Law School’s faculty.

This past fall, the Law School added two new associate deans — Megan Barnett LAW ’97 and Ian Solomon LAW ’02 — to these illustrious ranks. With their appointments, Barnett and Solomon join six other associate deans in advising Law School Dean Anthony Kronman.

Kronman said he is excited about the prospects of working with the two young, Yale Law School graduates in their new posts.

“The Law School is extremely fortunate to have two recent graduates back at the school working on its administrative team,” Kronman said in an e-mail. “Megan Barnett and Ian Solomon bring energy and imagination to their jobs, and a deep familiarity with the culture of the institution. I am lucky to have their help and have enjoyed every minute of our work together.”

Approached by Law School Associate Dean Carroll Stevens this fall, Solomon said the post was “too unique to pass up.” In his first months as an associate dean, Solomon has been responsible for managing financial affairs and human resources.

“We [the associate deans] are all advisers to Dean Kronman,” Solomon said. “A lot of my job is negotiation and problem solving.”

While Solomon said he would like to teach a class in 2004 on negotiating theory or local government law, he said he would prefer to mostly remain out of academia and concentrate on the day-to-day problem solving that comes with his job as an administrator.

Solomon said he sees Yale Law School as having four primary groups to which it owes attention — students, faculty, alumni and the public. Accordingly, he said he hopes Yale will continue to strive to be the nation’s top law school and not rest on its laurels.

“We have an opportunity with other schools in tougher financial positions,” Solomon said. “We need to solidify our position of leadership with the best professors, students and with the most alumni support.”

Barnett, who is currently on maternity leave, will return to the Law School next week, where she will be working on admissions.

Barnett could not be reached for comment.

Yale Law School professor Harold Koh said Barnett and Solomon have made a positive impact on the law school community already.

“Both of them are terrific and fantastic and they have all the energy of relative youth combined with wisdom,” Koh said.

A 1995 Harvard College graduate, Solomon spent three years as a business analyst at McKinsey, becoming a manager in 1997. On the side, Solomon did pro bono work for the nonprofit Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. In 1998, he left McKinsey to work full time for UMEZ, becoming a special assistant to the chief executive officer, or what Solomon called, “chief problem solver.”

In 1999, Solomon left UMEZ to attend Yale Law School, where he worked part-time for the New Haven Office of Economic Development, using the skills he acquired at UMEZ to help fortify New Haven’s economy.

Barnett, a University of Virginia graduate, spent her time after Yale Law School clerking for U.S. Circuit Judge R. Lanier Anderson on the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

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