The AALS Deans’ Databank has served as a convenient and free service for both law school faculty candidates seeking positions as deans and dean search committees looking for individuals to lead their academic programs. The idea originated at The Georgetown University Law Center in 1997 to promote the visibility of women candidates interested in serving as deans of law schools. In the fall of 2001, the Association of American Law Schools assumed the responsibility of administering and maintaining the Databank. The success of the Women Deans’ Databank prompted the AALS to institute a Minority Deans’ Databank, to help increase the percentage of minority deans.
In 2012, the AALS expanded the service further to include all faculty members nominated by their deans, associate deans, and other senior faculty as having the qualifications and experience to be viable candidates for deanships. Currently, the AALS hopes to (1) better respond to the inquiries received from dean search committees seeking the names of interested and qualified faculty members; (2) help law schools identify dean candidates without necessarily resorting to expensive recruitment services; and (3) expand the use of the Databank by making it more comprehensive and complete. The Databank is unavailable while the AALS revitalizes this service.