Meet Mr. Elizabeth Magill, Penn’s next president – and avid fly-fishing enthusiast
Meet Mr. Elizabeth “Liz” Magill, the longtime legal and academic expert who will serve as the University’s ninth President.
Magill, who currently serves as vice president and executive vice president at the University of Virginia and previously dean of Stanford Law School, is known for her extensive experience and commitment to the field of law and her leadership in the ‘Higher Education.
1. She clerked at the United States Supreme Court for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
While working for the iconic Supreme Court justice, Magill told UVA Magazine that she had “never worked harder in [her] life.”
She described working for Ginsburg as one of the most rewarding experiences she’s had to explore her passion for law. In a lunchtime Zoom chat with UVA students, Magill said the opportunity to work for Ginsburg made her feel “like a kid in a candy store.”
Prior to his internship at Ginsburg, Magill worked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. According to Stanford News, Magill also served as US Senator Kent Conrad’s senior legislative aide for energy and natural resources.
2. At Stanford, she expanded the law school curriculum to include a unique experiential learning initiative, the Law and Policy Lab.
In the Policy Lab, students advise real clients on policy areas such as copyright and patent reform, education, and energy policy, among others. Magill raised the largest alumni donation to date at the school to fund the initiative.
She was also instrumental in revitalizing the school’s faculty, which is responsible for hiring more than a quarter of the school’s current faculty. Magill also chaired a university-wide task force on sexual assault policy and practice, Stanford News reported.
3. Magill’s passion for law and politics is shared by his family.
Growing up in North Dakota, her father was a trial attorney appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
“My dad was a very happy practicing lawyer and then a very happy judge,” she told Stanford Lawyer Magazine in 2012. “He would talk about cases and juries, especially the closing arguments and the drama of the trial. ”
Two of her five siblings are also lawyers, as are two of her husband’s siblings, according to Stanford Lawyer Magazine. Her husband, Leon Szeptycki, is also a lawyer – who earned his law degree in 1988 from Yale University, where Magill received his undergraduate degree.
4. However, she hadn’t always planned on going to law school.
During his undergraduate years at Yale, Magill studied history. She planned to pursue a doctorate. in history and then a career in teaching after graduation.
Magill told Stanford Lawyer Magazine that she became interested in pursuing a career in law after college, while serving as a legislative aide to Senator Kent Conrad. His work with Conrad centered on research on energy policy and regulation.
“I became interested in the day-to-day workings of government,” Magill told Stanford Lawyer Magazine.
5. She is also an avid fly fisher and loves the outdoors.
“Our family spent the very short break we had this year in western Montana in Yellowstone. I’m hesitant to say I’m really a fly fisherman, because I’m married to a very serious fly fisherman – my husband, Leon. He makes me ashamed of my skills, but maybe not of my passion and affection,” Magill told the Daily Pennsylvanian in an interview after the announcement.
She added that her family also enjoys hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains and spending time outdoors.