Effective July 1, 2023, Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben will transition back to the law school’s faculty, where he served as the Mattie Caston Professor of Law, Provost Nancy Brickhouse said in a press release.

Patricia Wilson, J.D., associate dean and professor of law, will serve as the law school’s interim dean beginning July 1. A national search for the next dean of Baylor Law School will begin in the 2023-2024 academic year, with the search process to be announced at a later date.

Nationally, Dean Toben is the longest-serving leader among the deans of the 200 American Bar Association-accredited law schools. He has had a profound impact on Baylor Law, joining the faculty in 1983, and leading the law school as dean since 1991 through an era of significant change, while lending a voice to the national conversation in legal education. Toben has hired approximately 90% of the law school’s faculty and staff and his knowledge of, and relationships within, the many Baylor Law constituencies run deep.

During Toben’s service as dean, Baylor Law School rose to No. 2 nationally for trial advocacy by U.S. News & World Report and continues its success on the Texas bar exam, including the top pass rate on the most recent July 2022 exam. The law school has also consistently had an enviable placement rate for its students. The Fall 2022 matriculating class is the best credentialed ever, and the law school’s enrollment is the most diverse ever, with 30.4% students of color and 54.7% women. Approximately 86.5% of the law students come from undergraduate institutions other than Baylor University.

Toben graduated from Baylor Law with a J.D. degree with honors in 1977, after completing his B.A. with honors in political science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He received an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School in 1981 and then taught at Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has served by appointment of the Governor of Texas as a Commissioner to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. The Texas Trial Lawyers Association has recognized him at a reception in his honor for “exemplary service and commitment as a guiding light in legal scholarship and the pursuit of justice.” He is a Master of the Bench in the Judge Abner V. McCall American Inn of Court and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation. For more information about Baylor Law School, go to baylor.edu/law/.