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Search launches for next dean of Emory University School of Law

The next dean of Emory University School of Law will be hired from within in order to rapidly accelerate the school’s progress toward ambitious goals. Emory Provost Ravi Bellamkonda announced the search plans on Thursday, August 17 following intensive conversation with many Emory Law faculty, staff, alumni, students and other leaders about the community’s aspirations and vision.

According to Bellamkonda, three themes emerged from the discussions—pride in Emory Law and the nationally recognized scholarship of both new and long-serving faculty; a commitment to enhancing the pedagogical experience; and a desire for deep engagement with the city of Atlanta and the broader community of alumni and philanthropic supporters.

In a message to Emory Law faculty and staff, Bellamkonda noted that he carefully weighed the university’s inclination to attract top external talent with input from members of the Emory Law community to seek a leader familiar with and deeply committed to the school.

“I respect the many thoughtful perspectives shared with me and recognize that the work that lies ahead for Emory Law may be best accomplished by a leader with deep roots and personal investment in this community,” said Bellamkonda, who is also executive vice president for academic affairs. Familiarity with the school’s strengths and readiness to unite the community were also important factors in Bellamkonda’s decision. “The person who fills this position will immediately begin work to accelerate Emory Law’s progress towards its goals.”

The next dean is expected to focus on supporting student flourishing across academic, professional and personal dimensions; cultivating academic eminence worthy of a highly reputed national law school; building community within Emory Law and among alumni worldwide; strengthening ties to Atlanta’s bench, bar, business and non-profit organizations as well as enhancing Emory Law’s regional and national influence; and creating a strong, sustainable financial model for the school through fiscal management and philanthropy.

A search advisory committee led by Bellamkonda and co-chaired by Joanna M. Shepherd, Thomas Simmons Professor of Law, will assist in the selection. The committee will soon begin reviewing nominations and applications.

“It's an exciting time to select a new dean at Emory Law,” said Shepherd. “We’ve recently welcomed more than a dozen outstanding new faculty members, expanded curricular opportunities for students, achieved record-breaking fundraising and made progress in enhancing student outcomes. 

“We’re hungry to build on this momentum with a new dean who will focus on building community within Emory Law, enhancing alumni involvement, expanding ties to the Atlanta and national legal communities and cultivating student achievement and satisfaction.” 

The search follows Dean Mary Anne Bobinski’s announcement this spring that she would step down at the end of her term. “I’m grateful for Dean Bobinski’s continued service to Emory Law, and I look forward to building on the foundation she and others have established,” said Bellamkonda.

Applications from qualified internal candidates may be submitted through the Emory Human Resources position posting for Dean, School of Law  (note: this page is accessible only within Emory). Applicants must be full-time, tenured faculty members of the Emory University School of Law.  Questions, comments and nominations may be submitted through the search webform or to Melissa J. Daly, associate vice provost for executive operations and strategy, at

“President Fenves and I are ambitious for Emory Law. We are committed to investing in the school and its new dean to realize Emory Law’s highest potential,” said Bellamkonda. “We’re at an exciting juncture for Emory Law and the university, and we welcome community input and interest in this critical leadership role.” 

Emory Law Dean Search Advisory Committee

Chair: Provost Ravi Bellamkonda

Co-Chair: Joanna M. Shepherd, Thomas Simmons Professor of Law


Benjamin Fink 92L, President, Emory Law Alumni Board

Erin Herting, Chief Business Officer

Matthew Lawrence, Associate Professor of Law

Ryan Levin 19C 24L, Student

Nicole Morris, Director of TI:GER and Professor of Practice; Director of the Innovation and Legal Tech Initiative (ILTI)

Fred Smith, Jr., Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law

John Witte, Jr., Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, McDonald Distinguished Professor, and CSLR Faculty Director

Search Administrator: Melissa J. Daly, Associate Vice Provost for Executive Operations and Strategy,

This story first appeared in Emory Report.