Walter Pratt Jr., the dean of the University of South Carolina School of Law, will be stepping down next year. He has been dean since 2006. He joined the law school after a distinguished career on the faculty at the University of Notre Dame and it was high profile hire at that time. We can only hope that the reason for Dean Pratt's departure was not that the law school dropped from US News #87 to Third Tier, in this year's sweepstakes (notwithstanding the inference one could draw from the link above.) This tough economy has made it very difficult for aggressive deans to make as much progress as they'd like; the money simply isn't there.