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Paul Schiff Berman Named New Dean of GWLaw

Renowned Globalization Scholar Assumes Leadership July 1

April 28, 2011


WASHINGTON -- 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 is July 1, 2011.

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

Dean Berman also will 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 is obviously already one of the top law schools in the country, but it is far more than that,” Dean 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 GW Law is poised to pursue as we become the preeminent location for 21st-century global legal and policy studies.”

Dean 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 2006–2007 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. Dean 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.

Dean Berman graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1988 and earned his law degree from New York University in 1995, 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. Dean 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, Dean 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 not-for-profit theater groups in New York.

Dean Berman will be joined at the Law School by his wife, Laura A. Dickinson, who currently serves as ASU’s Foundation Professor of Law and as director of its Center for Law and Global Affairs. Professor 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 Justices Harry Blackmun and Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States. At GW, she will serve as Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law.

GW Law was established in 1865 and is the oldest law school in the District of Columbia. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools, the Law School enrolls approximately 1,800 students each year.

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