HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. —
Professor Eric Lane has been named interim dean of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, effective March 1, Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz announced. In order to facilitate a smooth transition, Dean Nora V. Demleitner will remain at Hofstra Law through the end of June, when she will assume the deanship at Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Lane, who is also the Eric J. Schmertz Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Public Service, has taught at Hofstra Law for more than three decades. “Eric is a dedicated and longtime member of the Hofstra community who is well-respected on campus, and far beyond, as a teacher, scholar, public servant and consensus-builder,” said Rabinowitz. “For more than 30 years, he has been a contributor to, and caretaker of, the reputation of Hofstra Law, and his knowledge of the school’s history and vision for the future make him ideal for this position.”
A graduate of Brown University, Lane also received a Master of Arts degree from Stony Brook University, a Juris Doctor degree from Fordham Law School and a Master of Laws degree from New York University. He joined Hofstra Law in 1976 and has taught courses in law and literature, constitutional law, statutory interpretation and the legislative process.
“Hofstra Law is an extraordinary law school, and I am delighted to have the privilege to work with its distinguished faculty, dedicated administrators and exceptional students and alumni,” said Lane. “For the past 40 years, all of these individuals have contributed to the Law School’s well-deserved reputation for being an institution where theory meets practice and where everyone in the community is committed to making an impact in the legal profession and beyond.”
“Professor Lane has been a trusted advisor throughout my time as dean,” said Demleitner. “He has a long and accomplished history with Hofstra Law and cares deeply about the future of the school. He will, undoubtedly, serve the institution well as its leader upon my departure in June and until a new Law School dean is selected. I look forward to working with Professor Lane and our students, alumni and faculty during my remaining time as dean.”
Lane is well-known beyond the Hofstra University campus for his work in public service. He has served as the senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. From 2002 to 2005, he was special counsel to the speaker of the New York City Council. Prior roles include his service as counsel to the New York Commission on Constitutional Revision, which was created in 1993. In 1990 he chaired the New York City Task Force on Charter Implementation, and from 1986 to 1989, he served as executive director/counsel to the historic New York City Charter Revision Commission, which was responsible for the most substantial changes in the institutions and processes of New York City government since its creation. Lane also spent six years (1981-1986) as chief counsel to the New York State Senate Minority.
Lane is the author of three books. The Genius of America: How the Constitution Saved Our Country and Why It Can Again
(with Michael Oreskes, senior managing editor of the Associated Press) has been called a “must read” about the origin of the Constitution and its modern applicability. Lane’s two textbooks (with the Honorable Abner A. Mikva) on the legislative process and statutory interpretation have been used in law schools nationally. He is also the author of often cited articles on the legal framework for governmental decision making.
A formal committee will be formed shortly by Hofstra University to begin the search for the next dean of Hofstra Law.