UNC’s School of Law has named Martin Brinkley dean.
Brinkley graduated from UNC's School of Law in 1992 and is currently a partner at Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, L.L.P. law firm. He will take over for Dean John Charles "Jack" Boger, who will return to the law school faculty.
Alfred Brophy, Judge John. J distinguished professor at law at UNC's School of Law, says Brinkley is a somewhat unusual choice because he is currently a practicing lawyer. Brophy believes this is a response to the current national decline in law school enrollment.
Since 2010, enrollment in American Bar Association-approved law schools has declined 37 percent.
“I expect we'll see more of these kind of appointments going forward, as schools are trying to respond to the very very challenging economic environment,” Brophy said.
Brinkley practices in the areas of corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, antitrust, insurance and regulatory matters, public finance and nonprofit organizations.
He leads the firm's Governmental Affairs, Administrative and Regulatory Law team and serves as primary outside counsel to clients in the distribution, food and beverage, and insurance industries.
Four other finalists were in the running for the job of dean of the law school.
▪ Robert Ahdieh, vice dean and professor at Emory University’s law school,
▪ Michelle Anderson, dean and professor at City University of New York law school,
▪ Sam Bagenstos, professor at the University of Michigan law school,
▪ Daniel Crane, associate dean and professor at the University of Michigan law school.
The candidates visited the UNC campus in April for interviews. In announcing the finalists, Mike Smith, chairman of the search committee and dean of the UNC School of Government, called them “remarkable people” who emerged as the strongest candidates in the search.
The UNC law school is among the oldest in the country. It ranked 31st in the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings.
The school has about 700 students and an annual budget of $27 million.