New Dean of Law School Named

Paul Schiff Berman
April 28, 2011

Paul Schiff Berman, currently the dean of the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, has been named dean of the George Washington University Law School by GW President Steven Knapp. His first day at GW will be July 1.

“Paul Berman stood out among the impressively diverse and accomplished group of finalists who emerged from an extensive national search,” said Dr. Knapp. “He brings to this position exactly the right combination of vision, legal scholarship and proven administrative achievement.”

Mr. Berman will also serve as GW’s Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law. His scholarship focuses on the ways in which globalization affects the interaction of legal systems, and his new book, Global Legal Pluralism: A Jurisprudence of Law Beyond Borders, will be published later this year by Cambridge University Press.

“GW Law School is obviously already one of the top law schools in the country, but it is far more than that,” Mr. Berman said. “It is a place where students and faculty work every day to help change the world: tackling the crucial challenges facing our society and integrating their academic pursuits with law in action in our nation’s capital. This is the unique vision that the GW Law School is poised to pursue as we become the preeminent location for 21st-century global legal and policy studies.”

Mr. Berman previously served as the Jesse Root Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he was awarded a Provost’s Research Fellowship in 2004. During the 2006-07 academic year, he was a visiting professor and visiting research scholar at Princeton University’s Law and Public Affairs Program.

In addition, he is the author of numerous scholarly books and journal articles. Mr. Berman has presented as an invited lecturer and conference speaker across the nation and in Europe and is frequently cited in the news media as a legal expert on a variety of topics. He also has served on the Organizing Committee of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities.

Mr. Berman graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1988 and earned his law degree in 1995 from New York University, where he was managing editor of the NYU Law Review and won the University Graduation Award as the member of his graduating class with the highest cumulative grade-point average. Mr. Berman served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and then for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States.

“It has been a pleasure getting to know Dean Berman through the search process. He is an extraordinary scholar and leader. It is clear from both his administrative and academic experience and from his personal engagement with our community that he is going to accelerate GW Law’s forward momentum as one of the leading law schools in the country,” said GW Provost Steven Lerman.

In addition to his career in academia, Mr. Berman previously served as artistic director of Spin Theater and as administrative director of the Wooster Group and of Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theatre at St. Mark’s Church, all nonprofit theater groups in New York.

Mr. Berman will be joined at the Law School by his wife, Laura A. Dickinson, who currently serves as Arizona State University’s Foundation Professor of Law and as director of its Center for Law and Global Affairs. Ms. Dickinson is a graduate of Harvard University and received her J.D. from Yale Law School before clerking for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court Justices Harry Blackmun and Stephen Breyer. At GW, she will serve as Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law.

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