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RUBEN CARRASCO St. Mary’s Law School Dean Barbara Bader Aldave Catholic law school, like any other law school, to avoid discriminating on the basis of char acteristics other than academic characteristics. I think the abortion issue could become a touchy one in some circumstances…. I am sure there would be some concern among the Marianists, who own the University, if they perceived that the school was in any way endorsing a pro-abortion position. But I myself have not felt any pressures from the central university. Besides the virtue of service and serving those who are less fortunate, what other tools would you like to give your students so that when they leave this law school they are more wellrounded as lawyers? I feel very strongly that the students have to be trained in all the ethical skills as well as all the skills they need as lawyers. They also need good grounding in all the traditional areas of the substantive law. Beyond that, I think that today, all of us in legal education have an obligation to ensure that our students have an opportunity to reflect on their own career goals and life patterns and how their career goals and life patterns are going to affect each other…. We’re trying to give them some opportunities to grapple with all those questions while they’re still in law school. I also want to give students a chance to find careers that are right for them and expose them to subjects that are not covered in the bar examination. As a consequence, we’ve introduced a lot of new seminar offerings, for example, “Women, Feminism and the Law.” We have a new course in poverty law, we offer courses in state constitutional law. And we are moving quickly toward giving students a wider range of choices. At St. Mary’s you have sought to diversify the faculty, which was a change since the . faculty was overwhelmingly white and male. How do you respond to those who question the need to have diversity in a law school faculty? I think any law school faculty ought to be diverse because the faculty is training the lawyers who should go out and serve all members of society. And I think not only from the point of view of providing role models to prospective students, but introducing students to other points of view, other perspectives, other ways of perceiving, we are all wellserved if the faculty members come from a variety of political traditions, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, and of course both sexes ought to be represented. You were an active supporter of Ann Richards in the gubernatorial campaign and of Maria Berriozabal in the San Antonio mayor’s race. Given the risks inherent in taking sides on any issues, why should a law school dean be politically active? One of the topics of discussion at the deans’ conference in Seattle last spring was whether deans should be politically active. The consensus of the panel was that deans should stay out of politics because they were using their office to further their personal agendas. I spoke up and indicated that I thought that if all of those people who were in positions of visibility and leadership declined to play an active role in our political system, we were leaving others who might be less well-qualified to do the task for us. I also indicated that it would be inappropriate in any way to associate the institution with one’s personal views. I think that I ought to leave my personal and political preferences behind as I assume a position of the law school dean. I have also heard it said that a dean ought to stay out of partisan politics because his or her involvement will alienate some of the institution’s supporters. But the same argument could be made about a business person who is dependent upon customers or clients or anyone who is in a position of visibility or leadership. Ironically, as I exited from this deans’ meeting, I was approached by the executive director of the Association of American Law Schools and the dean of one of the Ivy League schools, who asked whether I could use my acquaintance with the governor to persuade her to be the luncheon speaker at the national law school convention next January. [T]he vice president of the university here is on the campaign team of one of the other mayoral candidates. We have engaged in a little ribbing, but he has never indicated that my involvement was inappropriate, and I have never indicated to him that his involvement was inappropriate. In fact, I genuinely do believe in the robust, open debate that the First Amendment is designed to protect. I think we’re all better off if people state their convictions respectfully but always are spokespeople , for what they hope will be changed. According to Texas Lawyer, the average tenure of a law school dean is five years. What do you think your odds are at this point? I don’t know what I will do next. I think about that from time to time when I think that something I say is going to get me into real trouble. I comfort myself that there are other things I would enjoy doing. Once in a while I think that I will go to Peru and hand out rice to the peasants. There are other times, especially since we have started this clinic with the local legal aid office, I think I would like to go back and realize my law school dream of becoming a Legal Aid lawyer. There are other things that I would like to do, but I haven’t really made any long-term plans. I never have…. If someone had told me 20 years ago that I was going to live in Texas, or that I was going to be a law school dean, I would have found both ideas incredible. And, yet, I have been very happy in Texas and I’m delighted to be a law school dean. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13