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Kathryn R.L. Rand: A (love) letter to UND Law

By Kathryn Rand

Students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends of UND School of Law,

You can be very proud of North Dakota's law school. Working together over the past 10 years, we have achieved a great deal—more than most of us imagined we could.

As two outside consultants observed earlier this year, "We were struck by how much progress the law school had made by the time of its most recent reaccreditation [in 2016]. Through the leadership of Dean Rand and others, the law school addressed its most pressing accreditation issue — the law school building. The facility improvements are exceptional. But in addition to the building, the law school had made substantial strides in other areas, addressing serious shortcomings (mostly related to resources) highlighted in earlier accreditation reports."

By 2016, we had, as the consultants put it, "reached a new level of excellence" for our students and our state. That new level of excellence was the result of incredible teamwork, coupled with exceptional support of our state legislature and leaders within the judiciary, the state bar, and state government.

The new and improved law school building — imagined in 2007 and completed in 2015 — was the quintessential team effort. The School of Law is now a state-of-the-art professional education setting that serves our students and befits our character — modest, yet accomplished. On the heels of the building project, we achieved our smoothest and most successful reaccreditation in memory.

While those triumphs deserve status as milestones in the law school's history, my lasting memories are the smaller moments in the midst of these milestones. The smiles and tears, hugs and high-fives, belly laughs and bellyaching, literal and figurative pats on the back that we have shared over the years are what make UND School of Law a truly special place. In other words, what I will remember most is all of you.

When I was selected as dean, I promised to be guided by the distinctive character and mission of the School of Law and the values of public legal education, with professionalism and integrity as our fundamental principles.

Integrity is the essence of everything successful. Together, we have met challenges and faced adversity with hard work and honesty, perseverance and professionalism, kindness and courtesy, open minds and open hearts. I am most proud of — and most humbled by — the daily examples of true integrity in our law school community.

The next permanent dean will be lucky to join the UND Law team. Please choose someone who loves the law school as much as you do, and who will uphold the character, ethics, values and heart that make our law school special.

Leading UND School of Law since February 2009 has truly been a privilege. I have been honored to serve the School of Law, the university, the legal profession, and the state in the role of dean. Thank you for allowing me to be part of such an extraordinary time at North Dakota's law school.

Kathryn R.L. Rand has served as dean of the UND School of Law since February 2009. She

concluded her service as dean Wednesday to return to her faculty position at the Law

School.

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