Posted: June 19th, 2014 | By: Lisa Snedeker
Wake Forest University School of Law Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Suzanne Reynolds (’77) has been named interim dean of the law school effective Sept. 1 following the announcement that Dean Blake D. Morant has accepted an offer to become dean at George Washington Law School.
Reynolds has served as Wake Forest Law’s Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the past four years. She is the first woman to serve as dean of Wake Forest Law.
Needham Yancy Gulley Professor of Criminal Law Ron Wright, who served as Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the law school for three years priorto Reynolds, will step back into his former role.
Both appointments are for the 2014-2015 academic year, according to WFU Provost Rogan Kersh.
“President Hatch and I wish Dean Morant well as he transitions to his new position in Washington,” Kersh said. ”We have great confidence in our Law leadership team, under the experienced guidance of Suzanne, and look forward to working with the team to successfully navigate the shifting winds of legal education. We will launch a national search for Dean Morant’s successor, beginning this September.”
Reynolds is widely respected for her scholarship and teaching about family law and for her public service. She was a principal drafter of statutes that modernized the law of both alimony and of adoption, and she co-founded a domestic violence program that received national recognition by the American Bar Association for providing legal assistance to the poor. Reynolds authored a three-volume treatise on North Carolina family law that has become the authoritative source for law students, lawyers, and judges. Her empirical work has focused on outcomes in high-conflict custody disputes. She was the recipient of a Distinguished Woman of the Year award presented by Governor Hunt in 1998 and of the Gwyneth B. Davis Award for Public Service presented by N.C. Association of Women Attorneys in 1996. Reynolds was a candidate for the North Carolina Supreme Court in November 2008, narrowly losing her bid for that seat. Before teaching, she practiced civil litigation in private practice in North Carolina.
Wright is one of the nation’s best-known criminal justice scholars. He is the co-author of two casebooks in criminal procedure and sentencing; his empirical research concentrates on the work of criminal prosecutors. He is a board member of the Prosecution and Racial Justice Project of the Vera Institute of Justice, and has been an adviser or board member for Families Against Mandatory Minimum Sentences (FAMM), North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc., and the Winston-Salem Citizens’ Police Review Board. Prior to joining the faculty, he was a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, prosecuting antitrust and other white-collar criminal cases.