The Modern Law Dean: The Rainmaker

50 J. Legal Ed. 398 (2000)

31 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2013

See all articles by John A. Miller

John A. Miller

University of Idaho College of Law

Date Written: June 6, 1999


The law deanship involves the ability to play many roles. It is the thesis of this article, however, that one role is beginning to overshadow the others. We have entered an era where more and more law deans are first and foremost public envoys, professional fundraisers, and alumni boosters. I call this law dean “the rainmaker”. Of course law deans have always been rainmakers to some extent, especially in the private schools. But today, the external role is becoming paramount throughout legal academia. This enlarged external role forces a reallocation of the dean’s time and energies. The rainmaker law dean often spends more than half of her time on rainmaking activities. This essay considers the implications of the rise of the rainmaker law dean for universities, colleges, faculties, students, and for deans themselves.

Keywords: dean, education

JEL Classification: I20

Suggested Citation

Miller, John A., The Modern Law Dean: The Rainmaker (June 6, 1999). 50 J. Legal Ed. 398 (2000). Available at SSRN:

John A. Miller (Contact Author)

University of Idaho College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 442321
Moscow, ID 83844-2321
United States
208-885-2257 (Phone)

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