John Marshall’s Dean Darby Dickerson Named One of the Most Influential Leaders in Legal Education

Dean Darby Dickerson of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago has been named one of the Most Influential People in Legal Education by National Jurist magazine. The honor recognizes legal innovators who are taking the lead in shaping the future of law schools.

Dickerson, who joined John Marshall in December, previously served as dean at Texas Tech University School of Law and at Stetson University College of Law. Dickerson was named to the National Jurist list of 25 national leaders by the vote of deans and faculty from law schools across the country. “This year’s list of the Most Influential People in Legal Education recognizes the leaders who are shaping the future of law schools. They’ve pushed for more practical training, lowered debt and improved employment numbers,” the editors of National Jurist wrote of this year’s honorees.

This is the first year Dickerson has appeared on the list, debuting at 14. “It’s an honor to be included on a list that includes such extraordinary leaders and innovators in legal education,” said Dickerson.

A nationally known leader in legal education, Dickerson serves on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools and is also a Past Chair of several AALS sections, including the Section for Law School Dean and the Section on Institutional Advancement. She serves on the Steering Committee for the Deans Forum and will be chairing the AALS Audit Committee this year. Dickerson frequently is tapped to plan large-scale conferences for deans and other administrators. Last year, she chaired the planning committee for the full-day deans meeting at the AALS annual meeting, served on the planning committee for the ABA Development Conference and co-chaired the New Deans Workshop for the ABA. She also is a primary organizer of the annual women law deans dinner.

Among her many positions and honors, Dickerson is an elected member of the American Law Institute, is active in the American Inns of Court and serves as Immediate Past President of Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers.

Dickerson has served as a law dean for 14 years. During that time, she has led efforts to create public service graduation requirements, student wellness initiatives and bar preparation programs. She has also increased faculty scholarship and improved moot court and legal writing rankings. She has created innovative externship and leadership programs.

Dickerson received her B.A. and M.A. from the College of William & Mary and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University. Following law school, she clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and then practiced commercial litigation with Locke Lord in Dallas. In 1995 she was named both Outstanding Young Lawyer in Dallas and Outstanding Director of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. In January 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the Darby Dickerson Award for Revolutionary Change in Legal Writing, named by the Association of Legal Writing Directors to honor her contributions to legal writing.

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