Tag Archives: Scott Thompson

Dean Mays with Pres Lively

Arizona Summit Law School names new president

Arizona Summit Law School has appointed Donald Lively as its new president. Lively, who served as Summit Law’s founding dean from 2004 – 05, succeeds Scott Thompson who served as the school’s president for more than 4 years. Lively’s return coincides with the law school’s tenth anniversary. Together with Summit Law’s dean Shirley Mays and the school’s leadership team, Lively plans to focus on implementing the Summit Law vision of establishing the school as leaders in inclusive excellence in professional education and addressing key findings of the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education.

“Last year, the American Bar Association Task Force on the Future of Legal Education observed that most law schools lack the experience, expertise and organizational structures to deal with today’s market realities,” said Jay Conison, ABA Task Force Reporter.

“Most law schools are focused upon rankings that are of dubious validity and decreasing relevance to a rapidly changing market, warp priorities, hinder innovation, and perpetuate a legacy of exclusion. This orientation leads into the past. As people become better acquainted with who we are, what motivates us, and why we came into existence, they will appreciate how and why we are responding to the summons of the Task Force and positioning ourselves for leadership,” stated Lively in reference to the prediction of prominent experts in legal education that leadership in the field is on the cusp of changing.

Lively has also served as senior vice president for academic affairs for InfiLaw (a private law school consortium which also owns Florida Coastal School of Law and Charlotte School of Law) and president of Charlotte School of Law. He is a co-founder and founding dean of Florida Costal School of Law. His objective in conceptualizing what became Florida Coastal School of Law and Arizona Summit Law School was to create an institution that would be more student-centered, professionally readying, and committed to providing opportunities for historically disadvantaged groups. Lively was a tenured law professor at two public universities: University of Toledo and West Virginia University College of Law, where held the William H. Maier Chair. During his law school career, Lively wrote or co-authored 40 law review articles and 19 books, which primarily focused on constitutional law.

As a practicing attorney, Lively served in the Office of the General Counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission, as assistant general counsel with the Des Moines Register, and in private practice in Denver.  Lively earned his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his M.S. degree from Northwestern University after earning his bachelor’s degree from University of California, Berkley.

Downtown Law School Announces New Name

Phoenix School of Law, a private law school located in downtown Phoenix, is pleased to announce its new name:  Arizona Summit Law School. The new name highlights the ambition and drive of the students, faculty and staff at Arizona Summit Law School, collaborating to accomplish more, and ascend toward their personal “Summit.” This concept exemplifies the school’s mission of delivering student outcomes, preparing graduates for successful careers and improving diversity within the legal community.

The American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school, which opened in January 2005, offers traditional and non-traditional law students the opportunity to succeed through its student-focused curriculum and highly engaged faculty.  The practice-ready curriculum equips graduates with the practical skills and ethical instruction, leadership, management and interpersonal skills necessary for career success. Arizona Summit Law School accommodates students’ diverse needs with options, including full-time and part-time day and evening classes; trimester schedule for graduation in two years; and individualized bar-pass instruction through learning diagnostics and mentoring; and experiential learning opportunities via externships, internships and clinics.

“We look beyond test scores by taking the time to get to know our students’ ambition and work ethic as factors to grant admission,” stated Arizona Summit Law School Dean Shirley Mays. “The new name highlights our commitment to the success of our students who come from diverse backgrounds and stages in life and provides a supportive academic environment where civic-minded leaders and community advocates are nurtured,” she added.

“A core value of our institution is the pursuit of continuous personal improvement, an attribute that we share with our students,” stated Scott Thompson, President of Arizona Summit Law School.  “When we began discussing a name change more than a year ago, alumni, faculty, staff and stakeholders agreed this differentiating characteristic should be incorporated into our name and brand identity,” he added.

The new name and identity were developed in collaboration with Off Madison Avenue, an Arizona-based marketing and branding agency, and Landor Associates, an Illinois-based naming agency. In addition to its new name, Arizona Summit Law School revealed its new logo, web site and advertising campaign.