The Opportunity

Wayne State University Law School (Wayne Law) invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of assistant dean for career and professional development (ADCPD). The assistant dean will provide innovative and dynamic leadership for the programmatic and job placement activities of the Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) at Wayne Law.

Founded in 1927, Wayne State University Law School offers juris doctor, master of laws, and online master of studies in law degree programs, as well as an undergraduate minor in law in partnership with other Wayne State University schools and colleges. Wayne Law is located in Midtown, Detroit’s cultural center, and its alumni, which number more than 12,000, include judges, justices, law firm partners, business executives, public interest lawyers, and government officials working in every major market in the United States and over 17 countries. Wayne Law has been recognized eight years in a row by The National Jurist as a Best Value Law school and by preLaw magazine as being among the top law schools in the categories of business law, criminal law, and human rights law.

The Position

Role of the Assistant Dean for Career and Professional Development for Wayne State University Law School

Reporting to the dean of the law school, the assistant dean for career and professional development will provide strategic and operational leadership for Wayne State University Law School’s Office of Career and Professional Development, the mission of which is to partner with Wayne Law students and recent graduates to help them advance in their careers. To do so, OCPD develops and executes curricular and co-curricular programming and related events for law students and recent graduates interested in careers in the private and public sectors. The office also works closely and intensively with law students, recent graduates, and employers to help students and graduates find and secure job placements. The assistant dean, in consultation with the dean of the law school, is responsible for all aspects of OCPD’s programmatic and job placement activities and for developing and implementing strategies and tactics that will best ensure the success of Wayne Law’s graduates and the reputation of the law school among employers.

Additional specific responsibilities of the assistant dean include:

  • working closely and intensively with current students, recent graduates, and potential employers to launch students on successful career paths and with the ultimate goal of achieving full employment by each graduating class in full-time, long-term jobs for which bar passage is required or a JD is an advantage;
  • cultivate relationships with employers, and developing and pitching new employment opportunities (including summer internships) in established and emerging practice areas and in private, non-law firm practice settings that will interest a new generation of lawyers;
  • regularly meeting with employers who participate in recruiting events at Wayne Law to:
    • share data with respect to their on-campus reputation, year-over-year performance, involvement in Wayne Law life, etc.;
    • recommend actions they can take to achieve their goals vis-à-vis Wayne Law students;
    • provide updates with respect to innovations and/or changes in faculty, curricular offerings, and other relevant initiatives;
    • update and make available best practice guides for engaging with Wayne Law students and alumni, including engagement that may be modified due to changes in employment law and Wayne Law guidelines, etc.;
  • overseeing the administration of all aspects of On-Campus Interview programs, the International LL.M. Job Fair, and all related practice interview programs (both in-person and virtual);
  • sustaining and developing best practices for individualized career counseling for JD and LL.M. students and alumni and developing and executing a professional development curriculum, including programs with employers across a broad range of private sector practices and practice settings, career symposia, conferences, panel discussions, and networking opportunities;
  • creating and maintaining systems and overseeing the utilization of databases/technologies to track employment statistics (both summer and postgraduate) for all Wayne Law JD students, preparing required annual reports for the American Bar Association, National Association of Law Placement, US News and World Report, and other internal and external bodies, as requested, and using data analytics to shape strategic planning and overall office operations;
  • preparing and presenting annual reports/updates, as well as specially requested reports/updates;
  • managing direct reports, overseeing and supervising staff, recruiting, hiring, training, and directing daily activities and discipline, and developing the staff to ensure accurate and timely customer service and service delivery;
  • representing the law school at professional conferences, maintaining cooperative relationships with Academic Advisors, the National Association of Law Placement, monitoring compliance with national standards relating to employment, and serving on the Student Affairs Committee and other committees/working groups as assigned by the dean of the law school and/or their designee.

History of the Position

Krystal Gardner, former assistant dean for career and professional development, was a key leader of the Office of Career and Professional Development at Wayne Law for more than 15 years. Through her leadership, the OCPD has increased placement results for graduates and increased the overall student utilization of the center. She shifted the focus of the center from a resource area to an action-oriented office that focused on relationship-building with firms and organizations in order to increase placement opportunities for Wayne Law students.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

The assistant dean of career and professional development must be highly personable and inspirational, capable of motivating staff, faculty, campus partners, alumni, and, importantly, students to join in the vision and work of the OPCD to achieve its goals in supporting the success of Wayne Law graduates. The assistant dean must develop a proactive strategic plan that is focused on increasing student engagement and utilization of services, expanding alumni involvement, and continuing to drive positive employment outcomes. They must also possess a broad and deep understanding of national best-practices with regard to career placement in the law-school environment in order to continue the success of the OPCD in increasing the placement rate of graduates. The assistant dean must be an experienced leader who has had success in placement rates at other similar institutions and must be adept at managing multiple priorities for an organization with expanding complexity.

Additional challenges and opportunities for the assistant dean as articulated by stakeholders include the following.

  • The ADCPD will work to continue increased OPCD visibility among students—encouraging staff to think outside conventional career-center roles and workspaces to support students where they are.
  • The ADCPD will need to demonstrate dynamic and transparent communication skills with excellent public-relations skills, the ability to tell the “story” of Wayne Law, and the capability to reach all levels of the school and external stakeholders, including effectively speaking to students, faculty, employers, and alumni.
  • The new assistant dean will evaluate the OPCD’s current use of technology and devising a strategy for enhancing the use of technology through various systems and social media to improve communication and information-access among students, employers, and other key constituents.
  • The ADCPD will possess in-depth knowledge of the current legal-recruiting landscape.
  • They will review the office’s current policies with an eye towards streamlining, transparency, and encouraging participation, while assuring they are in step with best practices.
  • The ADCPD will promote effective mechanisms for early identification of and remediation for individuals who are not on track with regard to their career preparation.
  • They will provide proactive outreach to the student population and not wait for students to initiate contact.
  • The ADCPD will maintain a data-informed operation and ensure accurate, timely reporting of all placement data as required by ABA, US News & World Report, and other organizations.
  • The ADCPD will demonstrate administrative and managerial experience at progressive levels in a law school career-services setting, with the ability to plan strategically, globally, and operationally.
  • The new ADCPD will be a visionary leader with sound leadership and organizational development abilities who inspires and develops staff, providing professional and personal development opportunities and promoting unity and teamwork throughout the department.
  • They will involve the OPCD team in assessing its current employer-relations strategy to devise opportunities for expanding efforts and advancing penetration into new market sectors.
  • They will possess demonstrated skills as an advocate and champion for diversity, equity, inclusivity, accessibility, and social justice and be seen as an administrator who is willing to stand up for these values.
  • The ADCPD will demonstrate collaboration skills with internal departments and external colleagues, with the ability to understand the importance of interconnectedness and partnerships.
  • The new ADCPD will have a comprehensive understanding of the career-related needs of students from myriad ethnic and multicultural backgrounds.
  • They will have the ability to listen carefully, ask knowledgeable questions, learn the culture of the school and the department, accept input from staff, and then make well-informed decisions that are best for the students at Wayne Law.
  • They will be seen as being relatable and approachable at all times, with a focus on collegiality and bridge building.
  • The ADCPD will develop both short- and long-term views around Wayne Law student needs, formulating strategic assessment and operational plans, and then effectively communicating those plans to the community.
  • They will possess an energy and enthusiasm for the role, passion for the work, and a positive attitude.
  • The new ADCPD will present a comprehensive commitment to providing high-end service at all times and in all situations, making timely responsiveness a priority.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining Wayne Law, the following will initially define success for the assistant dean.

  • The assistant dean has increased opportunities for student engagement and service through the OCPD.
  • The assistant dean is a visible and engaged leader throughout campus, building collaborations between students and external partners and employers.
  • The assistant dean has assessed the impact of programs and services within their areas of responsibility.
  • The assistant dean is an essential team member and collaborator with faculty, staff, and external partners who are working towards achievement of departmental and institutional goals.
  • The assistant dean has analyzed, contributed to, and defined plans that are best practices for the office and the law school moving forward.
  • The assistant dean has expanded the education to the community around career planning and placement.
  • The assistant dean has increased the professional development and mentoring of staff within the office.


Qualifications and Characteristics

The position requires a Juris Doctor degree and a minimum of seven years of relevant experience in legal practice, law school administration, career services for a law school environment, or a professional environment characterized by complex demands, large workloads, deadline pressures, diverse constituents, and high client/student expectations. The successful candidate will possess excellent interpersonal, administrative, and management skills; strong communication skills as evidenced by written and oral expression; knowledge of the legal profession and landscape with an emphasis on the career development needs of contemporary law students; and experience counseling law students. Other preferred qualifications of an ideal candidate include experience working with diverse sectors of the legal industry; the ability to identify and analyze trends in the legal profession; and a proven ability to foster cooperative environments and to work in a collegial fashion with individuals of diverse backgrounds and experience.

Other desired knowledge, skills, and abilities for this position include the following.

  • experience with digital learning and recruiting standards and tools preferred and demonstrated ability to work well with highly accomplished industry leaders and sophisticated legal employers required
  • superior oral and written communication skills, including public speaking experience
  • demonstrated ability to work effectively and sensitively with staff and students in an institution committed to reducing structural barriers to equality across races, religions, orientations, abilities, cultural backgrounds, and other dimensions of identity
  • demonstrated ability to manage a team effectively, including providing clear direction, training, feedback and mentoring, capacity-building, and opportunities for professional growth; and cultivating a strong and positive group dynamic
  • experience managing resources and working with technology vendors
  • ability to exercise sound judgment and discretion in the handling of sensitive and highly confidential information
  • knowledge of or strong interest in understanding compliance standards related to recruiting, admissions, and student engagement in the law school context
  • excellent interpersonal skills, including the demonstrated capacity to advise and meaningfully and respectfully interact with diverse, multi-generational constituents
  • demonstrated ability to create and execute strategic plans with minimal supervision, an affinity for collaboration, and ability to work well across all levels of an organization
  • the ability to leverage work experience and professional network to develop meaningful relationships
  • the ability to multitask and be part of a collegial team, while working under pressure and balancing competing tasks
  • organizational and analytical skills and the ability to synthesize and meaningfully evaluate data
  • a passion for, and commitment to, delivering exceptional customer service
  • the ability to travel occasionally and work some evenings and weekends

Institution & Location

Overview of the career services department

The Office of Career and Professional Development works closely and collaboratively with students and alumni to help them achieve their career goals.

They position students for career success through personalized counseling, access to recruitment programs, networking opportunities, mock interviews, and more. The advisors provide all the resources and support needed to identify an ideal career path, launch a successful job search, and develop a rewarding career.

Wayne Law students and graduates are heavily recruited by employers, including law firms, corporations, judges, government agencies, and public interest organizations.

Leadership for Wayne State Law School

Richard Bierschbach, Dean and Professor of Law

Richard A. Bierschbach is dean and professor of law at Wayne State University Law School. He became Wayne Law’s 12th dean on Aug. 17, 2017. He previously taught at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, where he also served as vice dean.

Dean Bierschbach’s teaching and research interests are in criminal law and procedure, administrative and regulatory law, and corporations (especially corporate, white-collar, and regulatory crime). His scholarship explores how the criminal justice system’s institutional and procedural structure intersects with its substantive and regulatory aims. His work has appeared in numerous leading law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Michigan Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Northwestern University Law Review, and the Georgetown Law Journal, among others. While at Cardozo, he twice received the Best Professor Award from the law school’s graduating class.

Before entering academia, Dean Bierschbach clerked for Judge A. Raymond Randolph of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1997-98) and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court (2000-01). Between those clerkships, he served as a Bristow Fellow in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of the Solicitor General and an attorney-advisor in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. He has also worked in the New York offices of three international law firms—Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale), Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe—as a member of their Supreme Court and appellate litigation practices.

Dean Bierschbach received his bachelor’s in history (summa cum laude) from the University of Michigan (1994) and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School (1997), where he won the Daniel H. Grady Prize for graduating first in his class and the Henry M. Bates Award, the law school’s highest honor. He has held various leadership positions within the American Bar Association and is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.


Facts and Figures

  • The National Jurist and preLaw magazine have recognized Wayne Law as a Best Value Law School for the past 8 years.
  • 88 students in Wayne Law clinics worked for 14,195 hours on behalf of clients during 2020-21.
  • Wayne Law is No. 47 in the country for placing recent graduates in full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage or for which a J.D. is an advantage, according to an analysis of the American Bar Association’s 2020 employment data.
  • Wayne Law consistently has the lowest tuition in the state of Michigan.
  • In 2018, preLaw magazine recognized Wayne Law as one of the best law schools in the nation for practical training.
  • The Law School offers students a unique advantage: to graduate without taking on excessive debt. Wayne Law is No. 14 overall and the No. 4 public institution nationwide for law schools with the lowest ratio of debt to starting salary.
  • Wayne Law’s 2022 U.S. News and World Report rankings — No. 72 overall and No. 2 in Michigan, and No. 24 in part-time law — show why so many students choose Wayne Law.
  • Wayne Law awarded more than $7 million in scholarships in 2020.
  • 8 live-client clinics and a robust externship program provide students with the practical experience needed to obtain meaningful employment upon graduation.
  • Cora Brown, Law ’48, was the first African American woman in the nation to be elected to a state Senate position.
  • Wayne Budd, Law ’67, was the first African American to lead a state bar association.
  • The Law School’s 12,000+ alumni live and work in every major market in the United States and in 20 countries.
  • Wayne Law has educated top attorneys, judges, and leaders for more than 90 years.
  • Dorothy Comstock Riley, Law ’49, was the first Hispanic woman in the country to be elected to a state Supreme Court.
  • Upwards of 70 employers participated in Wayne Law’s fall and winter recruiting season.

Institutional Overview

Institutional background/history

Wayne State University Law School is passionate about the law’s historical, theoretical, and constitutional foundations. It is as committed about what the law means for an individual or a corporation as it is for a nation.

For more than 90 years, Wayne Law graduates have learned how to apply their knowledge to enhance quality of life, no matter the zip code, whether an individual is starting a new business or in need of expert legal advocacy.

Wayne Law proudly calls Detroit home, and every day, their students and faculty participate in the reinvention of this great American city. At a time of transformative growth, there has never been more momentum on campus and in the city.

About Detroit, MI

Detroit, seat of Wayne county, southeastern Michigan is located on the Detroit River (connecting Lakes Erie and St. Clair) opposite Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

It was founded in 1701 by a French trader, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who built a fort on the river and named it Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit in honour of his patron (the French word détroit meaning “strait”); later the British called it simply Detroit. In the 20th century the city’s name became synonymous with the American automotive industry.

Detroit’s population grew dramatically between 1850 and 1950. The city’s industrial growth was a magnet for migrants, at first chiefly European immigrants and later African Americans from the South. The population has declined steadily since the mid-1950s, however, in part because much of the white community moved to the suburbs and also because of the loss of industry. By the early 21st century, some four-fifths of the population was African American.

Mission and Vision

The Wayne State University (WSU) mission is to create and advance knowledge, prepare a diverse student body to thrive, and positively impact local and global communities. Its guiding values cut across organizational boundaries, bind it culturally, and permeate its strategic and tactical initiatives. They are the defining traits of the WSU community.

  • Collaboration – When we work together, drawing upon various talents and perspectives, we achieve better results.
  • Integrity – We keep our word, live up to our commitments, and are accountable to ourselves and each other.
  • Innovation – We are unafraid to try new things and learn by both failure and success.
  • Excellence – We strive for the highest quality outcomes in everything we do.
  • Diversity and inclusion – We value all people and understand that their unique experiences, talents, and perspectives make us a stronger organization and better people.

Leadership of the University

Roy Wilson, President

Dr. M. Roy Wilson became the 12th president of Wayne State University on August 1, 2013. Since assuming leadership, President Wilson has pursued his vision to transform the University into the preeminent, public, urban research university known for academic and research excellence.

In Fall 2020, Wayne State admitted its largest incoming class ever, a four percent increase over the prior year.

The University’s improvement in its six-year graduation rate earned the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ 2018 Degree Completion Award, which recognizes innovative and successful approaches to improve degree completion and ensure educational quality.

Wayne State’s graduation rate improvement was the best in the country in 2018. Gains were especially pronounced among first-generation, low-income, and minority students.

As part of a plan to increase the diversity of Wayne State’s campus, President Wilson created the position of Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer in 2014.

He also created the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement to provide an inclusive environment and promote awareness initiatives that encourage academic success for underrepresented minorities and historically marginalized students.

President Wilson has realigned the university’s numerous research divisions to emphasize team science and cluster hiring of scientists. This effort was reflected in the $90 million IBio multidisciplinary research facility, which opened in 2015.

He also developed a strategy to improve the pipeline of underrepresented students trained in the biomedical sciences.

As part of this strategy, President Wilson formed a coalition of Detroit-based universities and colleges to launch the NIH-funded Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Program at the University in 2015.

He also launched the Wayne Med-Direct program—which guarantees exceptionally talented high school students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds admission to Wayne State’s medical school—to develop the next generation of physician leaders.

Wayne State marked the successful conclusion of its Pivotal Moments campaign in late 2019, which raised $776.5 million, significantly surpassing its $750 million goal. This included several large, record-setting gifts and much support from Wayne State employees, alumni, and friends.

Campus beautification efforts have included the $26.5 million renovation of the Student Center Building and the redesigned green space surrounding Fountain Court.

In 2016, the University adopted a ten-year housing facilities master plan to meet the increased demand for living space. In 2017, WSU entered into a novel public-private partnership to fund $310 million in new construction and renovation of existing facilities, adding 840 beds in new, market-rate apartment housing.

Wayne State opened the new Mike Ilitch School of Business located near downtown Detroit in 2018, made possible by a $40 million investment from Mike and Marian Ilitch.

Groundbreaking took place for two major projects in 2018—the $65 million Hilberry Gateway Performance Complex for theatre, music, dance, and the arts, and the renovation of an unused science library into the STEM Innovation Learning Center, an instructional learning environment for undergraduates, which opened in Fall 2021.

The University invested $4 million to upgrade and refresh Wi-Fi across campus to improve connection reliability and speed.

Prior to joining Wayne State, President Wilson served as deputy director for strategic scientific planning and program coordination at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health.

Previously, President Wilson was vice president for health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at Creighton University, president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver, and concurrently chair of the board of directors of the University of Colorado Hospital/Anschutz Medical Campus. President Wilson also chaired the board of directors of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and was acting president during part of that time.

Wayne Law Degree programs

Wayne Law brings together a thriving and diverse community to prepare students to face complex issues with thoughtful and creative solutions and provides the best legal education available.

J.D. program

Wayne Law offers three program options for the first year of study to meet the various needs of a diverse student body. They include a full-time day program, a combined day and evening program, and a part-time evening program.

LL.M. program

Lawyers who already have earned a J.D. degree from an accredited U.S. law school or an equivalent degree in another country and satisfy Wayne Law’s LL.M. admissions criteria are eligible to undertake advanced legal studies for a master of laws (LL.M.) degree at Wayne Law. The Law School offers courses in three areas, including corporate and finance law, labor and employment law, and taxation.

Online Master of Studies in Law

Wayne State University Law School’s online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) degree is specifically designed to help specialists in human resources expand their knowledge of legal principles and the U.S. legal system.

Minor in Law

The interdisciplinary Minor in Law program at Wayne State University Law School equips undergraduate Wayne State students with the knowledge required to analyze and understand how law and their educational discipline intersect.

Centers and Programs

Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights

The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne Law, named for Judge Damon J. Keith, LL.M. ’56, addresses the civil rights needs of southeast Michigan and the nation by promoting the educational, economic, and political power of underrepresented communities in urban settings.

A hub for civil rights teaching, research, and action, the center fuels the next generation of civil rights leaders through initiatives like the Detroit Equity Action Lab.

Levin Center at Wayne Law

The Levin Center at Wayne Law, named for former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, educates future attorneys, business leaders, legislators, and public servants on their role overseeing public and private institutions and using oversight as an instrument of change.

Program for International Legal Studies

The Program for International Legal Studies is the focal point for all international activity at Wayne Law. Its study abroad programs and international fellowships give students a first-hand view of other nations’ legal systems and approaches to legal education.

A hub for international legal research, the program showcases faculty scholarship and hosts a speaker series that brings scholars, policymakers, and practicing international lawyers to the Law School from around the world.

Wayne State University Student Body

2021 Applicants

10,386   Total applicants

1,952      In-state

8,434     Out-of-State

Top 10 States

  • Michigan
  • California
  • Illinois
  • Florida
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Texas
  • New Jersey
  • Virginia
  • Massachusetts

Top 5 Degrees

  • Biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry/Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Biomedical Engineering

Average research hours: 1,095

Average community service hours: 811

Benefits Overview

Benefits Overview

  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Retirement Savings Plans
  • Life Insurance
  • Tuition Assistance Programs
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Retirement Plans


For additional information:

Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Laura Puckett-Boler at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Wayne State University Law School website at

Wayne State University is a premier, public, urban research university located in the heart of Detroit where students from all backgrounds are offered a rich, high quality education. Our deep rooted commitment to excellence, collaboration, integrity, diversity and inclusion creates exceptional educational opportunities preparing students for success in a diverse, global society. WSU encourages applications from women, people of color and other underrepresented people. WSU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

To learn about Wayne State University’s COVID policies, please visit: