Legal Staff Profile
Paul Mahoney, University of Virginia School of Law By Donna McGill Dean Paul Mahoney has a lot to be proud of these days. His school, the University of Virginia School of Law was just named in the Princeton Review as the number one school for its quality of life for students and number 2 for ‘’Best Classroom Experience’’. While he’s certainly proud, he has an idea as to why his school ranked so high.
The University of Virginia continues to celebrate its top ranking among law schools in the country, courtesy of the Princeton Review The University of Virginia School of Law took the top rank in the country for its quality of life for students and number 2 for ‘’Best Classroom Experience’’. The law school’s Dean Paul Mahoney said, ‘’...a strong sense of community and a faculty dedicated to the craft of teaching...’’ plays a powerful role in the overall experience. His students couldn’t agree more. After all, they ranked number 7 on the Princeton Review for ‘’Best Career Prospects’’. Only in his post for two years, Dean Mahoney still anticipates what each new day brings in this blessed position he finds himself in. Never sure what those days bring, as he explains, ‘’My email traffic has probably quintupled or more since I became dean…the number of letters, the number of decisions to make in a day’s time takes some adjustment for someone who’s used to being an academic’’. That was two years ago and these days, he still marvels at the adjustments made when he traded in his role as a professor for that of a dean and leader. While he admits it’s a ‘’tremendous challenge’’, he is also proud to call it ‘’the greatest honor I’ve received in my
professional life’’. The Yale Law School graduate once clerked for Judge Ralph K. Winter, Jr. for the Court of Appeals as well as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who graduated from U of V School of Law. After those roles, he chose to practice law in New York with Sullivan & Cromwell in transactional law. It was bound he would return to the academic sector, though. After marrying a law school professor and raising two sons, both now in college, he himself decided to teach law. He admits he was hesitant in changing hats and going from teacher to dean, though he is happy with his decision. These days, Dean Mahoney continues to work to ensure what he sees as the nation’s finest law school remains the coveted college it has always been. After all, the school accepts usually no more than 10% of its applicants. He takes pride in knowing a first class education is available for those who are accepted and he enjoys seeing graduates take the world on as they set out to define their own careers. He refers to the faculty as ‘’famously gifted teachers’’ and says he would want students who are considering U of V to know they are always the top priority of those gifted educators and that the school has a dean who is just as passionate as they are about the law as a whole and how it can truly change lives.
Dean Mahoney continues to work to ensure what he sees as the nation's finest law school remains the coveted college it has always been.