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every time I decided I wanted a faculty member, there was Ricky Revesz! We seemed to have quite the same taste,” Warren Braunig ’05, a partner at Keker & Van Nest in San Kagan said, remarking that when she Francisco, matriculated when Revesz began as dean. That heard people mention 46 new faculty fall, the student body learned that demand for public interest at NYU, she felt “as though I was there summer internship funds had far outstripped supply. By spring, Revesz was for every single one of those.” able to announce a new head of the Public Interest Law Center and more: As the crowd roared with laughter, Kagan added with a smile, “I have “Ricky called everyone together to say, ‘We will guarantee funding to say, this was all highly annoying.” to everybody, and we’re raising the amount by a thousand dollars.’ It But Kagan made it clear that was like, Bam! Our faith in NYU as a bastion of public interest law was any annoyance was dwarfed by her restored and extended. Because of his administrative law scholarship, respect for and admiration of her New people feared that Ricky would be a technocrat, and in that moment he York counterpart. Calling him the showed that he knew when to place the school’s core values over what best dean in the business over the past appeared to be budgetary math. He didn’t just convene a committee; 11 years—“bar none”—Kagan said that he went and did it.” when she looked outside Harvard for ideas on how to improve legal education, “there was no one I looked to Jessica Almy ’09, an associate at Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal more than Ricky Revesz and no school in Washington, DC, arrived as a 1L with a husband and baby. I looked to more than I looked to NYU.” She was surprised to learn that University health insurance As an example of the model Revesz didn’t cover well-child services such as vaccines and check-ups. set for other deans, Kagan highlighted his commitment to public service and “Together with a few other law students with children, I asked Dean Revesz public interest law, primarily through about the healthcare plan. He was absolutely surprised; he had no idea his championing of the Root-Tildenthere were these deficiencies. He went to the University and advocated Kern Scholarship Program, his supon our behalf, and the result was all those services were covered the next port of the loan repayment assistance year. The fact that he did this after one meeting with us made it clear that program, and his protection of the he meant it when he said he cared about students who have kids. It’s one summer funding provided by the thing to say you care, and it’s another to put your words into action.” Public Interest Law Center. Yet Revesz’s “true greatness,” Kagan said, resides in his values. NYU Jason Washington ’07 was an AnBryce Scholar and a 2012–13 Law “is an entrepreneurial, innovaWhite House Fellow. tive, optimistic place,” she said. “And law schools don’t have to be that. “Ricky made it clear he would always have an open-door policy; he was Law schools can be—and often are— passionate about it, and gave time, energy, and administrative capacity stodgy and tradition-bound and not to it. I would drop by and talk about what more the school could do for the most adventurous institutions diversity and inclusiveness. It’s one of the many reasons why I loved my in the world.” But Revesz “imbued time at NYU. Often I was very formal with him, reflexively. So it became this place with his optimism, with his a running joke that whenever I called him ‘Dean,’ he would call me sense of adventure and innovation.” ‘Senator.’ That got me off my formality really quickly!” Follow ing Kagan, Katzmann spoke admiringly of Revesz’s ability to maintain a high level of scholarly output even as he bore the burdens of running a top-tier law school. “Usually when somebody becomes a dean, the sense is he or she is done with scholarship and is going to become But the outsized success of Revesz’s tenure was by no means an administrator,” Katzmann said, but Revesz took “active efforts preordained. To the contrary, remembered Kagan, Revesz to promote the careers of the young talent around him.” “flunked the first test of deaning…which is, you have to pick your Katzmann also echoed the near-universal observation that Revesz personally responded to e-mails deep into the night, saypredecessor really well.” Noting that Revesz assumed the job in the shadows of ing that it instilled in everyone else a sense not just of awe but also the extremely popular Sexton, Kagan, who became dean of of mutual obligation: “We want to say yes to Ricky, because we Harvard Law School in 2003, recalled that “there were some num- know that he would say yes to us if he possibly could.” ber of people who said, ‘Well, he’s not John Sexton, is he?’” But, One person Revesz said yes to many times was next on the she added, “Ricky proved in really short order that you didn’t podium: Nicholas Bagley, who told the audience that as a firstnecessarily have to have the personality type of John to be just year student in 2002, all he knew of Revesz was “that he didn’t an extraordinarily successful dean.” hug people as much as John Sexton did.” Kagan recounted with rueful amusement the frequent battles she In Bagley’s second year, however, Revesz tapped him to help and Revesz engaged in over faculty hiring. “It just turned out that edit a textbook chapter on the law and economics of environmental
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