bility as initiatives emerge, whether they were
the ones who first created it or not.
For example, Derek Bambauer, a wonderful new colleague in Intellectual Property,
has come in and is building a whole new
program, an Intellectual Property and
Technology Transfer Clinic. Jane Bambauer
not only has expertise in privacy law but has
set up a new program, the Quantitative Legal
Studies—Quant Law Program—that brings
in major national speakers. And Andy
Silverman and Barbara Atwood are the two
least-retired retired people you’ve ever met.
Barbara continues to teach family law. We
started a new family law certificate after
Barbara was technically retired and someone
in a faculty meeting asked, Should we have a
formal certificate, even when the head of that
program is retired? The answer was, “It’s
Barbara. What are you talking about? Of
course we should.” And Andy continues to
teach immigration law and is helping to codi-rect a new wrongful convictions clinic.
AZAT: You say it’s been the “habit” of the
school to have these kind of dialogues.
You’ve been at a number of law schools; is
this a special UA thing, or is this common in
MILLER: No. This is absolutely unique in
my experience—but it’s also a product of the
times. At most law schools, the most common place to have a collective conversation
is the faculty meetings, which turn out to be
not a good vessel for really substantial conversations and ones where you can bring
in new information. There are also hallway
conversations, or in offices, one-on-one,
one-on-two, one-on-three. But the space
They see a title, and they understand it.
AZAT: Is this a trend?
MILLER: Law reviews generally still publish
long articles. But they’ve all pushed toward
somewhat shorter pieces, understanding that
if it’s 120 pages it’s a book, and if it deserves
to be a book, fine. They’ve made it readily
accessible and readily digestible even though
the materials are in no way diluted.
But one of the things about scholarly articles is that hopefully the author wants them
to be read. If you think about who you want
your audience to be, if that audience isn’t just
other academics with an afternoon working
on their next piece, 70- and 80-page articles
with 500 and 600 notes are likely just by
their form to present a barrier, no matter
how good the idea is.
AZAT: The role of dean is multifaceted:
school booster, fosterer of social change,
leader of faculty, intellectual leader, development officer. Do you tend to enjoy one role
more than another?
MILLER: All of them equally get me excited,
but I don’t actually think they receive equal
focus or equal time in the modern dean’s
job. What modern times has brought,
including the significant increases in the cost
of legal education, is an expectation by all
parties that resources are being used well,
wisely and efficiently, and that you’re thinking not just about the health of the school
now but the health of the school down the
road. That fundamental challenge occupies
most of my time.
AZAT: And you enjoy the intellectual
MILLER: Sure, and of course I’m closely
involved with faculty hiring. I help tend to
the current faculty, helping make sure they
succeed, along with our associate deans and
Chief of Staff Sally Rider; they are as
involved. I don’t see my role as managing
everything so much as encouraging it, creating space for it, welcoming it.
The trend around here, the habit, has
been for people to jump into conversations
about policy. People then may take responsi-
PPE—politics, philosophy and economics—
which I saw as foundational ultimately to
study in law. So it interested me.
On the other hand, I was well aware that
it’s very hard to become a law professor. I
knew that Chicago, along with Yale, produced as high a percentage of people who
went into teaching as any school at the
time, but I went in very open and willing to
being a practicing lawyer and interested in
AZAT: So you were a law school aficionado?
MILLER: I loved law school. I absolutely
adored law school. It’s something I hope we
engender and encourage here, the passion
about what the law is. It’s such a mind- and
option-expanding professional education.
It opens doors. It changes the way people
AZAT: What effect should law schools have
on the larger profession? Should lawyers
and judges more widely read and use law
MILLER: Increasingly, I think, the legal
academy—this school at least—is attentive to
the interplay between theory, skills and practice, not just in the classroom and what
we do. Much of scholarship is very aimed
toward and meant to inform actual policies
and practices of law. There are people here
who do very abstract, theoretical work; but
the really common theme is that legal scholarship gets used—despite how the bar often
talks about how irrelevant much of legal
AZAT: Right up to the Supreme Court.
MILLER: And, with all respect, I’m not sure
they’re reading as much of it as I hope
they would and should. One example: The
newest journal here is the Arizona Journal of
Environmental Law and Policy, a 100 percent online journal. It’s made up of short
articles and commentaries, and it’s already
been ranked in at least one survey as the top
environmental specialty environmental law
journal. The articles are research based, but
they’re short and focused. You know, someone can sit down for 20 minutes and read it.
AQ& Marc Miller James E. Rogers College of Law at U of A AZ AT I hope we engender and encourage the passion about what the law is. It opens doors.