AUSTIN, Texas—Professor Lawrence Sager has been appointed the new dean of The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, the university’s Executive Vice President and Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson announced Wednesday (May 10).
Professor Lawrence Sager
Photo: Wyatt McSpadden
Sager holds the Alice Jane Drysdale Sheffield Regents Chair and is one of the nation’s preeminent constitutional theorists and scholars. Sager, who joined the university law faculty in 2002, becomes the 13th dean in the law school’s 123-year history. Sager replaces William Powers Jr., who resigned as dean of the law school earlier this year to become the university’s president on Feb. 1.
University of Texas at Austin Law Professor Steven Goode, who did not seek the deanship, has served as interim dean of the law school.
“I am thrilled that Larry Sager is our new dean at the Law School,” said UT Law School Foundation trustee and attorney Tom Loeffler, former chairman of the UT System Board of Regents and a former U.S. representative. “He’s second-to-none as a scholar, teacher and leader. Larry is one of the most dynamic individuals I have ever met, and an outstanding Texan by choice. The university has made an excellent choice. I could not be happier with the decision or more confident about the future of our great law school.”
Loeffler is a 1971 graduate of the School of Law and the founding partner of the national law firm of Loeffler, Tuggey, Pauerstein, Rosenthal. Loeffler has also served in the White House as adviser to four presidents.
“We recruited Larry to the campus about four years ago as one of the leading constitutional scholars in the country and as a bonus he also was enthusiastic about being a major player in helping build the Law School,” said William Powers Jr., president of the university. “That vision and ambition for our Law School is a terrific asset we’re going to have under his leadership.”
“The UT School of Law is a fabulous center of legal education and scholarship,” Sager said. “I am honored to have been chosen as dean of this exciting community of ideas and action, and inspired by the prospect of guiding it forward.”
Prior to joining the Law School faculty, Sager taught for more than 25 years at New York University (NYU) School of Law, where he was instrumental in transforming the NYU faculty into one of the very best in the nation. At Texas, he has also been deeply involved with the Law School’s successful faculty recruitment efforts, which include luring corporate law expert Bernard Black from Stanford Law School in 2004 and health law scholar William Sage from Columbia Law School this year. He served as chair of the Law School’s Appointments Committee during the 2005-06 academic year.
Sager has also taught as a visiting professor at Harvard, Princeton, Boston University, UCLA and the University of Michigan.
Sager is the author or co-author of dozens of articles, many now classics in the canon of legal scholarship, as well as two books: “Justice in Plainclothes: A Theory of American Constitutional Practice” (Yale University Press, 2004) and, with Christopher Eisgruber, provost of Princeton University, “Religious Freedom and the Constitution,” forthcoming from Harvard University Press.
Sager is married to University of Texas at Austin Law Professor Jane M. Cohen, who holds the Edward Clark Centennial Professorship and has written extensively in the areas of family law, feminist legal theory, cultural accommodation and genetic discrimination. They have nine children. Seven are now adults. The couple’s twin daughters live in Austin and attend the Girls School of Austin, where Sager is vice chair of the Board of Trustees and Cohen is an active participant in the affairs of the school.