INTERVIEW BY TIM EIGO PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF NOBLE Aiming for Regional Leadership Phoenix School of Law’s Shirley Mays
Last summer, Dean Gene Clark at Arizona’s newest law school left the position to move to Australia. That followed a series of
accomplishments for the school, including earning full ABA accreditation.
On January 26, we met the new Dean of Phoenix School of Law, Shirley Mays. She spoke with us about her background, the
school’s achievements, and goals for the institution’s development.
This is another in our recurring series of dialogues with Arizona’s legal educators.
ARIZONA ATTORNEY: I hope you’ve had a
good reception here in Arizona—wel-
come. What is your focus at the law school
SHIRLEY MAYS: We are now in our post
full-accreditation life. And one of those
things is deciding who it is that we want to
be now. What do we want to be now that
we’ve grown up?
AZAT: And are you leaning toward any-
thing in particular?
MAYS: We are focusing on becoming a
regional center of excellence. We’re hav-
ing conversations with faculty, we’re talk-
ing with the board, we’re talking with
groups of students, and with our adminis-
trators about what that is that we want to
do. So we’re throwing about ideas: Do we
want to have a specialty area? For instance,
we could focus on sports law, environ-
mental law or something of that nature.
We would decide that what we want to do
is be a teaching center.
this kind of a new concept?
MAYS: It is a concept that’s a little newer.
I do know that Florida Coastal School of
Law is a sports and entertainment law center, so to speak, but we were thinking of
not so much doing a specialty area but
rather something more involved with the
general practice or something of that
AZAT: Are your faculty and students
involved in that conversation, or is that just
an InfiLaw board conversation? [Phoenix
School of Law is part of a private consortium named the InfiLaw System, comprised
of three law schools: Phoenix Law, Florida
Coastal School of Law, and the Charlotte
(North Carolina) School of Law.]
Dean: Phoenix School of Law, began Aug. 2, 2010 Previously: Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Law,
According to the Dean’s biography: As Associate Dean, she provided
administrative leadership to the academic departments, including
Academic Success, Legal Writing and Legal Drafting, Bar Services,
Graduate Programs, Externships and the Legal Clinic, and the Paralegal
Program. She also oversaw the Office of Student Administration. While
at Capital, Mays chaired the Faculty Hiring, Minorities in Law, and
Honor Code Committees. She also served as a member of the
University-wide Strategic Planning Committee, and the committees on
Academic Affairs, Externships, and Admissions/Readmissions.
Mays has served on several ABA site visit accreditation teams and was
a member of the Ohio State Bar Association Task Force on Legal