A native of New Haven, Fisher received his B.A. in economics from Yale University in 1975 and his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1978. He lives in West Hartford with his wife, Dina S. Fisher, a graduate of UConn law school. Fisher will start his job as dean, which pays $275,000 a year, on July 1.
Fisher is a past treasurer of the Connecticut Bar Association. He has also led, or co-chaired, a number of CBA task forces, including those on the Future of the Legal Profession, Confidentiality and the Courts, and the Future of Connecticut's Probate Court System.
Fisher was a long-time board member at Greater Hartford Legal Aid and has also been active in providing pro bono service in areas of marriage equality, prison conditions and volunteer criminal defense. He has led McCarter & English's sponsorship of the Connecticut Innocence Project, which helps provide legal services for wrongly convicted individuals.
As a private practice lawyer, one of Fisher's most notable recent cases involved the UConn law school. He has represented the state in a lawsuit against contractors who built the law library, which had exhibited water intrusion damages from when it was built in the mid-1990s until its repair in 2007-2009.
Fisher's predecessor is Jeremy Paul, who announced his resignation last March just after U.S. News and World Report rankings revealed that UConn law school had again dropped in the national rankings, to No. 62. This year's rankings, released last week, show UConn at No. 58. Yale is the top-ranked law school in the country and Quinnipiac University School of Law is 134th.
A national search to find a replacement was launched last summer. In addition to Fisher, finalists included James Hackney, a law professor and former associate dean at Northeastern University; Joseph MacDougald, a professor in residence at UConn law school; and Edward Stein, vice dean at Cardozo School of Law in New York.
Willajean McLean, a law professor and former associate dean, has been serving as interim dean.
Paul, now dean at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, said he "has the highest regard for Tim Fisher. I watched him closely during his leadership at the Connecticut Bar Foundation and was impressed both with his strong organizational skills and his passion for delivering legal services to those struggling to afford them. He is a man of unquestionable integrity."
Paul said that deans who come from outside of an academic background face special challenges. "They must master academic culture and pass judgment on those who have devoted lifetimes to teaching and scholarship," he said.
During the application process, Fisher made presentations to faculty members outlining his ideas to better position the law school in the future. One of those ideas was to enhance a multi-disciplinary approach to legal study. "So our graduates might be public policy experts or have an economics expertise, or a scientific specialty," Kay said. "He wants to create opportunities for our students to have something that makes them stand out."