The highly-rated Snow has been in the post for four years, but he told Brobeck lawyers last month that he does not intend to stand for a third term (The Lawyer, 29 October).
His decision is believed to be linked to some partnership discontent concerning his earlier promise that there would be no layoffs at the firm while he remained chairman.
It had been thought that he would return to his successful securities litigation practice, but Snow has put himself forward for the role of dean of the University of Oregon School of Law.
He threw his name into the hat a few weeks ago and is now one of five finalists for the position.
“I'm going to change some of my priorities and I'm thinking about what I might want to do”
Tower Snow, Brobeck Phleger & Harrison
The successful applicant will be announced at the beginning of 2002, and will take up the post at the start of July.
Snow told The Lawyer: “It's something I was approached about, and yes I was one of the finalists. Whether I would do that I don't know. I'm going to change some of my priorities and I'm thinking about what I might want to do.”
Snow has no background in academia, but the university is understood to be interested in him because of his credentials as the leader of one of the country's top law firms.