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Press Release:

Huffman announces return to classroom

Steps down as law school dean
Posted February 21, 2006

(Portland, Ore.)—After thirteen years of outstanding service to Lewis & Clark Law School as dean, James L. Huffman has announced his plans to return to a faculty position at the law school. Huffman steps down as dean on June 30, 2006 and returns to the classroom in fall 2007.

“Jim Huffman has enriched both life and learning at Lewis & Clark for more than thirty years,” said Thomas Hochstettler, president. “His leadership and his wisdom during his thirteen-year tenure as dean have advanced the ways we understand and think about legal education that are fundamental to creating sound public policy and enhancing social well-being.”

Under Huffman’s leadership as dean, Lewis & Clark Law School has attracted faculty and students of the first rank and maintained a top national ranking for its environmental law program; focused on balancing scholarly research with a commitment to teaching; engaged in scholarship at the national level; improved facilities, including a multimillion dollar expansion and renovation of Paul L. Boley Law Library and construction of Louise and Erskine Wood Sr. Hall; and built strong connections to the Portland legal and business communities. Huffman will preside over the law school’s commencement on Saturday, May 27, and take sabbatical leave during the 2006-07 academic year.

“I’ve been honored to have the opportunity to serve as dean all these years,” said Huffman. “Lewis & Clark Law School has made enormous strides over the last decade thanks to an extraordinary faculty and top students drawn from every corner of the country. We have a law school in which our alumni and the Portland community can take pride. It will be a pleasure to return to the faculty and devote my energies to teaching and scholarship. I have no doubt the law school has a very bright future.”

Huffman joined the law school faculty in 1973 and was appointed dean in 1994. In 2001, he became the first Erskine Wood Sr. Professor of Law; Huffman will retain the professorship as he returns to the classroom. He is an expert in areas of constitutional law and history, natural resources law, and water law. He has been a visiting professor at Auckland University in New Zealand, the University of Oregon, the University of Athens in Greece and Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala. He was a fellow at the Humane Studies Institute and a Distinguished Bradley Scholar at the Heritage Foundation. Huffman serves on the boards of the American Judicature Society, the American Law Deans Association, the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, the Classroom Law Project, and the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. He is a member of the Montana Bar Association and is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

“Jim Huffman has given his mind and heart in extraordinary measure to the Pacific Northwest and to Lewis & Clark, and we are all the richer for that,” said Hochstettler. “All of us extend our deepest gratitude and best wishes to Jim as he and his family embark on new adventures in a world he has helped shape and make better.”

Huffman will devote his sabbatical year to writing projects “that have been on hold for 13 years,” and he looks forward to devoting more time to teaching beginning in August 2007. He is the author of more than 100 articles and chapters on a wide array of legal topics. Huffman earned his bachelor’s degree from Montana State University, master’s degree from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his juris doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School. He and his wife, Leslie Spencer, reside in Portland with their three children: Spencer, Claire, and Meg. Huffman has two adult children, Kurt and Erica.

Hochstettler will appoint an acting dean for next year, during which time the law school will conduct a national search for a new dean.


For more information, please contact:
Tania Thompson
Senior Communications Officer