Randall P. Bezanson received his B.S. and B.A. degrees from Northwestern University, and his J.D. degree is from the University of Iowa College of Law. After clerkships on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and U.S. Supreme Court -- to Justice Harry Blackmun -- Bezanson returned to the University of Iowa to teach law. He served a five-year term there as vice president for finance before accepting the position of dean at the Washington and Lee School of Law.
During Bezanson's tenure a major addition to Lewis Hall -- known as the Powell wing, named after law school alumnus Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. -- was planned and constructed. This addition included more space for clinical programs, added library reading room space, additional faculty offices, and room to house the law school archives, to which Justice Powell donated his personal and professional papers.
Dean Bezanson emphasized "the role of writing as the principal medium of learning" in making curricular changes. Even in expanding clinical programs, he pointed to W&L's "taught clinics" with their "focus on the skills of analytical writing and oral expression."
Upon leaving the office of dean, Bezanson pointed to an increase in the diversity of the student body, higher student academic qualifications, and the enhanced national reputation of the law school as the most satisfying developments during his time as dean. Dean Bezanson also laid the groundwork for a secure financial future for the law school.