Assistant Dean of Legal Information Services and Professor of Practice Washington and Lee University

Full Job Description
Washington and Lee University: Law School
Lexington, Virginia
Open Date

Aug 26, 2021


Reporting to the Dean of the Law School, the Assistant Dean of Legal Information Services manages all aspects of the operation of the Wilbur C. Hall Law Library in a manner that supports the mission of the Law School. While this is a 12-month administrative appointment, the Assistant Dean will also hold faculty rank (non-tenure track) and the title of Professor of Practice, teaching one or more legal research courses annually as needed.

Washington and Lee University promotes a dynamic and inclusive environment that allows students and employees of multiple backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives to learn, work, and thrive together. Successful candidates will contribute to that environment and exhibit potential for excellence in teaching and for vigorous scholarship. In keeping with the University Strategic Plan, we welcome applications from underrepresented minority candidates and members of other communities that are traditionally underrepresented in academia.

Status: Full-Time, 12 Month, With Benefits
Position Type: Administrator with Faculty Rank
Work Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday
FLSA: Exempt
Minimum Pay: $127,652

Essential and Related Functions

The Assistant Dean of Legal Information Services manages all aspects of the operation of the Wilbur C. Hall Law Library in a manner that supports the mission of the Law School. Specific responsibilities include the following:

Works with the Dean to establish objectives of the Law Library that best support the research, teaching, and programmatic needs of the Law School community.
Promotes a positive and creative work environment while undertaking supervisory functions relating to hiring, performance review, and professional development.
Establishes budgetary priorities for the Law Library in a manner that maximizes the benefit of library resources.
Creates and maintains print and digital collections appropriate to the mission of the Law School.
Oversees the management and development of innovative digital initiatives, including an institutional repository and the widely recognized W&L Law Journal Rankings.
Manages the Law Library’s physical space to maximize the benefit of this resource for the Law Library and the Law School more broadly.
Collaborates with the University librarian on a range of administrative matters to leverage University resources and to promote efficiency in the delivery of library services across the entire University.
In addition to managing the Wilbur C. Hall Law Library, the Assistant Dean of Legal Information Services will hold the title of Professor of Practice. In this capacity, the Assistant Dean will teach one or more legal research courses, including the first-year legal research course and advanced legal research, as needed. Additionally, the Assistant Dean may teach a doctrinal course in an area of expertise subject to need and feasibility.

Required Competencies

Strategic Thinking – Actively develops and aligns the departmental strategy with the University’s vision, mission and values. Able to rally others behind the University’s mission and create commitment to achieving long-term goals. Looks beyond the surface of problems, connects unrelated information and integrates it when making decisions. Able to quickly assess changing situations and recognize key risks involved in order to handle the problem or opportunity efficiently.
Change Adaptability – Champions change initiatives in own department, communicates rationale and provides updates throughout the change process to help others deal with ambiguity. Anticipates and addresses staff concerns throughout the change process, creating and maintaining open dialogue to obtain commitment and buy-in. Supports the practical utilization of new ideas that show promise and encourages diversity of thought in own department and others.
Communication and Networking – Adapts own style to deliver persuasive messages by understanding the audience, communication objectives and intended outcome. Serves as a role model by advocating a culture of openness and two-way communication across departments. Develops and maintains knowledge of key areas, persons in the University or larger community and uses social networks to build support for common purposes.
Drive for Results – Champions continuous improvement of work methods, policies and practices by providing resources and sharing success stories and lessons learned. Engages department in setting challenging goals and targets, encourages others to overcome obstacles and holds people accountable for results. Guides establishment of customer service processes to standardize a culture of customer service and sensitivity.
Talent Development – Supports processes to identify and reward talent by creating development opportunities, mentoring and coaching others to develop the next line of leaders. Proactively identifies and ensures development of critical future skills and capabilities for talent across the University and not just within a department. Takes time to actively build individual relationships on a formal and informal basis with University employees. Leads by example, by supporting the implementation of a sustainable performance development system (e.g., encouraging participation in goal setting activities, final year review, etc.).

The university requires employees to become fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and new employees must provide proof of at least their first shot prior to the first day of employment. Individuals may seek a medical or a religious exemption to the vaccination requirement.


The Assistant Dean will hold a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school and a M.L.S. or equivalent degree from an ALA-accredited institution. Additionally, the Assistant Dean will have considerable experience in law library administration, including personnel management and management of financial resources.

In addition to possessing strong supervisory, communication, and leadership skills, preferred candidates will have an appreciation for the changing roles of law libraries in legal education and a willingness to continue the Law Library’s record of innovation in deploying resources in a manner that best serves the needs of the students, faculty, and other members of the Law School community.

Physical Requirements

Fingering: Picking, pinching, typing or otherwise working, primarily with fingers rather than with whole hand or arm as in handling.
Grasping: ing pressure to an object with the fingers and palm.
Repetitive motions: Making substantial movements (motions) of the wrists, hands, and/or fingers.

Working Conditions

The worker is not substantially exposed to adverse environmental conditions (as in typical office or administrative work).
Sedentary work: Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met.
Application Instructions

To be considered, applicants should submit the following materials through the Interfolio portal:

Personal statement
Contact information for three professional references

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For more information please contact Brian Murchison, chair of the search committee, at [email protected].

Application Process
This institution is using Interfolio’s Faculty Search to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Washington and Lee is an Equal Opportunity Employer. As such, we are interested in candidates who are committed to high standards of scholarship, performance and professionalism and to the development of a campus climate that supports equality and diversity in our faculty, staff and student body. Job description requirements are representative, but not all?inclusive of the knowledge, skill, and abilities needed to successfully perform this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Statement of Commitment to Diversity

Washington and Lee affirms that diverse perspectives and backgrounds enhance our community. We are committed to the recruitment, enrichment, and retention of students, faculty, and staff who embody many experiences, cultures, points of view, interests, and identities. As engaged citizens in a global and diverse society, we seek to advance a positive learning and working environment for all through open and substantive dialogue.