BY MATT HUTCHINS
On January 13, Harvard Law School Dean of Admissions Toby Stock ’01 announced to the law school community that he will be departing as of January 29th to accept a position at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative policy research center in Washington, D.C. Stock will become the Managing Director for Development at the institute where he will take a lead role in major fund-raising activities. In an interview with the Harvard Law Record, Stock explained that his experiences as Dean of Admissions have allowed him to develop the ability to publicize the strengths of an already excellent institution and develop relationships that can help maintain that excellence.
During his time at HLS, Stock worked with Dean Kagan to “show the truth about the law school” and foster awareness among incoming students of all the ways that the HLS administration works to provide an excellent experience to students. Part of this effort was the implementation of telephone interviews to create a personal connection between applicants and the administration during the admissions process. Other forms of transparency, such as the admissions blog, have served to communicate information about student life on campus and demonstrate that student life is a top priority at HLS.
As a member of the HLS administration, Stock was able to participate in the committee which created the Public Service Initiative (PSI), a program which Stock believes will be a strong draw for the top students in the country. “The very strongest students are very often interested in public sector work, so I think initiatives like [PSI, which refunds students pledging to pursue at least five years of public service work] will be very attractive.” Stock believes that HLS recruiting will be strong in the near future. He sees public opinion as recognizing “momentum as being on our side” and is confident that HLS remains and will continue to be the strongest law school in the country. He also believes that Acting Dean Jackson will be an excellent interim administrator as a permanent replacement for Dean Kagan is selected.
Beyond the interviews he conducts with each incoming student, Toby Stock has achieved a degree of notoriety among the student body of the law school through his participation in the parody and the outrageous prices he paid on two occasions for bricks in the public interest auction. His first brick purchase, for $600, was the result of a bidding war with Michael Carey over a brick from Langdell. He gave the brick back the next year for re-auction, but he once again became embroiled a game of bidding chicken, this time with Dean Kagan. After Kagan topped his bid to free him from the obligation to repurchase the first brick, Stock then proceeded to pay $500 for a different brick, this one from Wyeth Hall, the building he had lived in as an HLS student.
In his farewell e-mail, Stock advised students to try to have fun in their careers and take risks, and he asked students to feel free to contact him any time by e-mail or Facebook after he goes to Washington.