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University of Miami Law Has a New Dean

The University of Miami has named an interim dean to lead the law school nearly three months after the school fired then-dean Anthony Varona.

University of Miami president, Julio Frenk, announced this past week that Nell Jessup Newton will join as interim dean and visiting professor at the University of Miami School of Law on September 1.

“As students return for the fall semester, I am delighted to announce that former Notre Dame Law Dean Nell Jessup Newton will join us as interim dean and visiting professor at the University of Miami School of Law on September 1,” President Frenk stated in the announcement. “Professor Newton, whose impressive academic and administrative accomplishments have made her a national leader in legal education for more than 20 years, will steer Miami Law through the coming year during the search for our next law dean.”

Newton has previously served as dean at a number of law schools including Notre Dame, UC Hastings, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Denver. During her 10-year leadership at Notre Dame, the law school saw strong improvement in business and international law. Not only did Newton lead the launch of dual degree and interdisciplinary programs, she also developed new clinical programs that assisted the underserved and new specialized courses of study in law and policy.


Newton also boasts strong expertise in Indian Law and serves as the editor-in-chief of the only treatise on the subject, Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law. Additionally, she has served as a member and chair of the Board of Trustees of NALP’s Foundation for Law Career Research and Education.

“The breadth of her experience and expertise will allow her to seamlessly engage with students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as we build on a legacy of scholarship, service, and social justice to strengthen our law school for the future,” President Frenk stated. “We are grateful to Acting Dean and Professor Stephen Schnably for his steady hand and selfless service while we identified the best candidate to lead Miami Law through this important transition. I also appreciate the many faculty members, alumni, students, and trustees who have shared their perspectives and sage advice in making this appointment.”

Sources: University of Miami, University of Miami, Tipping the Scales

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