May 21, 2015—University of Denver Chancellor Rebecca Chopp announced today that Dean Martin J. Katz will conclude his successful tenure as dean of the Sturm College of Law in July 2016. Under Dean Katz’s leadership, the law school has transformed to address the realities of the legal job market and has become known as a national leader in a new era of legal education.
During Katz’s tenure, Denver Law has risen more than 20 places in the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings. The school now has six specialty programs ranked in the U.S. News Top 25 and has been named #10 on the National Jurist’s list of Best Schools for Practical Training. Additionally, bar passage rates have increased by approximately 20 percentage points and graduate employment rates have remained high under Dean Katz’s guidance.
Most noteworthy among Dean Katz’s achievements has been helping students successfully transition to legal careers in Colorado and beyond. Katz has been instrumental in working with the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver to create Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers (ETL), a consortium of 34 schools that specialize in building experimental learning programs that elevate the student experience. He has written and lectured extensively about ways in which legal education can adapt to changes in legal practice.
“Marty Katz is a remarkable leader in the legal community—the fourth most influential person in legal education, according to National Jurist. He brought new vision and energy to the law school: a new kind of legal education that produces practice-ready lawyers for today’s world,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Gregg Kvistad.
At Sturm, Katz led the creation of a path-breaking strategic plan in 2009 and has led its successful implementation. He introduced a 6-year undergraduate/JD program, created a Legal Residency Program modeled on medical residencies, and unbundled legal education to provide additional degree and certificate opportunities for students. As a result, Denver Law has received prominent recognition for being among the best and most innovative law schools in the country. Under Katz’s leadership, the law school achieved a 10-1 student-faculty ratio, while recruiting top faculty, including from higher-ranked schools, and simultaneously increasing student quality.
“Thanks to Dean Katz’s innovative leadership, the Sturm College of Law is in an excellent position to attract a nationally competitive successor,” said Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. “We congratulate Marty and thank him for his many extraordinary contributions to the Sturm College of Law and to the University of Denver, including his significant contributions to our University-wide strategic planning efforts.”
Dean Katz will return to teaching, which he loves, as a member of the Sturm faculty in the 2016-2017 academic year, and the University looks forward to welcoming him in his new role as a faculty colleague and community citizen.