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Loyola Law School Dean David W. Burcham Named Provost of LMU


After eight years at Loyola Law School Los Angeles as the Fritz B. Burns dean and senior vice president, David W. Burcham was named today to the newly created position of executive vice president and provost of Loyola Marymount University. Victor J. Gold, a veteran law professor and a former associate dean, was named interim dean and senior vice president. A national search for a permanent dean will begin immediately.

As provost, Burcham will oversee all aspects of LMU’s internal operations. That encompasses 400-plus faculty and several thousand students spread out over seven colleges and schools, including the law school. In his new position, Burcham vows to make the same commitment to the classroom and scholarly productivity that he did at the law school. “I view LMU’s faculty and students as its greatest strengths and most important assets,” Burcham said.

About David W. Burcham

Burcham ushered in a new era of educational excellence during his tenure at Loyola Law School. Determined to give students a broad range of experience, Burcham oversaw the launch of a host of innovative programs, including the Business Law Practicum, the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy, the LLM in International Legal Practice, the London IP Institute, the Tax LLM program and other vital initiatives. The law school’s practical training programs excelled under Burcham’s stewardship, during which time the Byrne Trial Advocacy Team won five national championships and several regional competitions. He also oversaw the creation of the National Civil Trial Competition, one of the country’s preeminent mock trial events.

Burcham worked to enhance the size and prestige of the law school faculty, increasing the number of full-time professors by almost 15 percent – from 65 in 2000 to 74 in 2007. Under his leadership, the faculty collectively produced more than 400 works of scholarship. Burcham also worked with professors to establish programs in their core areas of expertise, including the Center for the Study of Law & Genocide, the Civil Justice Program, the Distinguished William J. Landers Lecture on Prosecutorial Ethics, the Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice, the IP Special Focus Series, the Journalist Law School, the Sports Law Institute and others.

Burcham made great strides to grow the law school financially. He raised money for the completion of the Girardi Advocacy Center, which houses the school’s flagship classroom, Robinson Courtroom. He then instituted a moratorium on building to focus on the school’s endowment, which more than doubled under his watch. He used part of that money to increase support for the Public Interest Law Department, which helps students pursue public interest careers through scholarships, internships and loan forgiveness. Elsewhere, Burcham worked to establish seven new faculty chairs.

During Burcham’s tenure, Loyola saw dramatic improvements in many national rankings: first for Best Classroom Experience and fourth for Professors Rock (Legally Speaking) by the Princeton Review and fifth for Trial Advocacy by U.S. News & World Report. Burcham’s efforts to increase campus diversity were recognized by a number of rankings: ninth for Most Diverse Faculty by the Princeton Review, tenth on U.S. News’ Diversity Index and a listing among the top 10 schools for Latinos by Hispanic Business magazine.

Burcham was a public school teacher and administrator for more than eight years before receiving a J.D. from Loyola, where he was chief articles editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review and received numerous academic honors. After graduation, he served as a law clerk to both the Honorable Ruggero J. Aldisert, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White. Before returning to Loyola as a faculty member in 1991, Burcham practiced labor and employment law with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles. He served as associate dean for academic affairs from 1999-2000 and was appointed the 15th dean of Loyola Law School in 2000.

About Victor J. Gold

Gold, a William M. Rains fellow, earned myriad accolades as an esteemed legal educator and administrator during his two decades at Loyola Law School. A prolific scholar with dozens of law review articles to his name, Gold earned an Excellence in Teaching Award from the graduating class of 2007. Gold’s tenure as associate dean for academic affairs from 2000-2005 saw an increased focus on Loyola Law School’s national stature, a drive to recruit top-notch professors and an emphasis on faculty research.

“Professor Gold is an extremely capable leader who cares deeply about the law school,” Burcham said of his replacement. “He will continue to enhance the academic excellence of LLS.”

Gold teaches and writes primarily in the areas of contracts, evidence and remedies. Widely considered one of the country’s top experts in evidence law, he has penned several books on the topic, including one with fellow Loyola Law School Professor David Leonard. Possessing an uncanny ability to explain legal issues, Gold served as a CBS legal analyst from 1994-97. Prior to teaching at Loyola, he was a law professor at Arizona State University and an associate at Nossaman, Krueger & Marsh. Gold graduated Order of the Coif from UCLA Law School, where he was an editor of the UCLA Law Review.