The founding dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University has been appointed to a Federal Courts Study Committee.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist appointed Rex E. Lee, professor of law at BYU, to the 15-member committee, which includes members from all three branches of government.Lee was U.S. solicitor general, representing the federal government before the Supreme Court, for four years before leaving his post to assume a job in the Washington office of Sidley & Austin and to teach law part time at BYU. Lee led the law school from its beginning in 1972 to a position of national recognition by 1981. Upon his return to BYU, Lee accepted an endowed professorship.

The committee was formed by Congress to examine problems facing the federal courts and to develop a long-range plan for the future of the federal judiciary.

"The task this committee will undertake is one of enormous importance to the immediate and long-term future of the judiciary," Rehnquist said.

Lee has been appointed to the subcommittee on the relationship between federal and state courts. The committee will exist for 15 months.