Scott Garrett

BSL Class of 2012
Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Birmingham School of Law

Scott Garrett has been named Associate Dean of Birmingham School of Law effective February 1, 2017, following the retirement of Gordon Warren, who held that position for 17 years. “I am extremely honored and excited to have been named Associate Dean of the Birmingham School of Law,” Garrett says. “We all owe a debt of gratitude to Dean Warren for his steadfast service to BSL for 17 years. Both as a student and a teacher, Dean Warren has been of immense help to me, and I want to thank him personally for that. I have some big shoes to fill.”

As Associate Dean, Garrett will work with students regarding their matriculation, graduation plans, and the requirements of the Alabama State Bar and the Veterans Administration for veterans who are students. “I also will work with Dean (James) Bushnell on the development and implementation of the curriculum and class schedule, which includes selecting and offering appropriate and exciting elective courses. The ultimate goal, of course, is to develop the students’ existing skills and to provide them with the tools they need to succeed, not only on the bar exam but also in day-to-day practice. I will work closely with both the students and our exemplary faculty to achieve these ends,” he says. “I also intend to become more involved in the recruitment process – to actively identify and pursue students who will benefit from the BSL experience.”

Bushnell foresees new energy and focus on students and the success of the school under Garrett’s guidance. “When Scott came through Birmingham School of Law as a student, he was one of the best in the class and demonstrated a maturity and focus uncommon to many law students. He set an example for everyone,” he says. “We welcome him and look forward to hearing his ideas and utilizing his energy to drive our program to the next level.”

Garrett feels fortunate to come into this position during such an exciting time at BSL. “We have a new, beautiful facility and an outstanding faculty that is dedicated to the success of the students and the school. The quality of our students is improving, and we have momentum that I have not seen in the past. We are in a position to develop our mission to provide quality, low-cost legal education to our students and to provide confident, capable attorneys to the Alabama legal community, especially to the rural areas in need of more lawyers,” he says.

In the short term, Garrett plans to address the school’s bar exam passage rate. “The recent addition of the BarBri Lawyering Fundamentals Classes and the assistance of BarBri and its experience is a significant step in the right direction, but I plan to work even more with Dean Bushnell to increase first-time takers’ chances of success,” he says. “I also plan to strengthen and energize the BSL alumni network. There are great lawyers all over the state who are BSL alums, and I want to bring them together for the benefit of the students and the school, and to enhance the professional network of the alums themselves.”

Using the current technology, Garrett hopes to position BSL to offer remote access to classrooms, which would be beneficial both to the students and the school in many ways, not the least of which would be to lessen the travel time for students to and from Birmingham. “We have students that commute from all corners of the state, and that access would allow for more study time and cut down on ancillary costs to the students,” he says. “Right now, there are restrictions in place that will not allow us to conduct remote classes, and we have a long way to go to make this happen, but I plan to work toward it.”

As an alum, Garrett has been as involved in the BSL program and has a good understanding of its strengths and limitations. “The strength of BSL lies in its outstanding, non-traditional student and alumni populations. One must be exceptionally dedicated and have remarkable discipline to even consider undertaking a non-traditional legal education such as the one we offer,” he says. “The dedication and discipline of our students is emblematic of the resiliency of our program and our commitment to our students and the Alabama legal community. The fact that the vast majority of our students have commitments that, generally speaking, traditional law students do not have (full-time jobs, families, mortgages, etc.) presents special challenges for both our students and BSL. We will work together to overcome those challenges.”

Being an alum drives Garrett to make the school the best it can be. “Those who know me know my passion for teaching, my regard for the students at BSL, and my love for BSL itself,” he says. “I am exceptionally proud to be a BSL graduate, and I cannot conceive of a more rewarding career than to dedicate my time and energy to bettering the Birmingham School of Law.”

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