Ronald H. Weich, Prominent Legal Authority, Named Dean of Seton Hall School of Law
January 16, 2024
By: Laurie Pine
Following a nationwide search, the Office of the Provost has announced the appointment of seasoned attorney and law school administrator, Ronald H. Weich, J.D., as the next dean of Seton Hall School of Law. His tenure will begin on July 1, 2024.
The selection of Weich was based on his highly regarded body of work, scholarship, and legal acumen – in practice, government service, and as the dean of a law school, which the ABA and the Association of American Law Schools found to be “impressive” in its re-accreditation review.
“We are delighted to welcome Dean Weich to Seton Hall University. He has cultivated an impressive legal career that includes well-regarded academic administration, high-level federal service, and successful private practice,” said Erik Lillquist, J.D., Interim Provost and Executive Vice President, Seton Hall University.
Weich comes to Seton Hall from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he has served as dean since 2012. While at Baltimore Law School, he led a faculty of 45 tenured and tenure-track professors, as well as many adjunct faculty members, teaching fellows, and professors of practice. In addition, Dean Weich has managed the school’s annual budget of roughly $22 million and led the development of a strategic plan that emphasizes admission standards, academic excellence, faculty scholarship, and career development.
His deanship at Baltimore spans a period of upheaval in American legal education. Declining enrollment nationwide and the coronavirus pandemic created extraordinary stressors that Baltimore Law successfully navigated under his leadership. He employed an approach that relied on preserving academic standards, prudent fiscal management, open and transparent communication, and increasing external fundraising.
To that end, Baltimore School of Law obtained government and philanthropic funding for its human trafficking and pretrial justice clinics, as well as the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts. Most recently, Dean Weich helped secure a $3 million gift to establish the Center for Criminal Justice Reform and a criminal defense and advocacy clinic.
"Dean Weich’s qualifications, leadership experience and legal acumen are of the highest caliber. He embodies the tradition of excellence at Seton Hall Law that has propelled our alumni to the highest levels of the bench and bar for over 70 years. I welcome him as our next Dean with great enthusiasm as we begin to write our next chapter,” said John Kip Cornwell, Interim Dean of Seton Hall School of Law.
Prior to his time in academia, Weich was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs in the Department of Justice, a post he held from 2009 to 2012. His work in Washington, D.C., included several other prominent positions, including Chief Counsel to U.S. Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Harry Reid. Weich also served as a partner in the firm of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.
The incoming dean began his career in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney. He is a graduate of Yale Law School, which he attended after undergraduate studies at Columbia University and the London School of Economics.
“Dean Weich believes that law is more than a profession; it is a calling to help one’s neighbors. He often tells prospective and new students that a law license is a mandate to help others through wise counseling, zealous advocacy, and ethical leadership. His perspective and wide experience will certainly help advance Seton Hall Law among the nation’s best and most dynamic centers of legal education,” said Lillquist, adding, “I would like to express my appreciation to Interim Dean John Kip Cornwell, who will be returning to the law school faculty, as is his preference. His leadership powered an outstanding level of forward momentum during this interim period.”
The Office of the Provost wishes to thank the search committee members, led by Professor Paula Franzese, J.D., and Tom Scrivo, Law ’89, for their excellent work. All are asked to join in welcoming and congratulating Dean Weich on his appointment as the newest dean at Seton Hall University.