Posted: August 31st, 2022 | By: Maggie Sandy
Professor Nell J. Newton, Notre Dame Law School’s 10th dean for ten years, has been named as interim dean for Wake Forest School of Law. She is a leader in legal education and has been for more than 20 years. In addition, she has served as dean of prominent law schools nationwide since 1998.
Through her leadership, Notre Dame increased the size of its Law School faculty through lateral and entry-level hires. She also built curricular strengths for law students focusing on business, international law and intellectual property. In addition to these curricular focuses, Professor Newton initiated the launch of a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, a Community Development Clinic and an Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic. Professor Newton also stewarded eight new programs of study at Notre Dame that allows students to develop expertise in specialized areas of law and policy to this day.
Professor Newton also paved the way for international education at Notre Dame Law. She worked with the Law School’s London Law Center to open the school’s London program to Indiana campus-based students interested in spending a single semester, full-year and summer programs in the United Kingdom. As part of an expansion of the international curriculum, including a program of study in global law, Professor Newton entered Notre Dame Law into student exchange programs. These partnerships included the Peking and Tsinghua University law schools in China, the Pontifical University of Chile, Bocconi University in Italy, Trinity School of Law in Dublin, and the University of Lucerne School of Law in Switzerland.
Over the 2021-2022 academic year, Professor Newton served as interim dean for the University of Miami School of Law before accepting her position at Wake Forest School of Law. At the University of Miami, she most notably strengthened the school’s admissions and career development services and was able to lead the school in its search for a permanent dean.
Professor Newton has served on committees examining legal education issues for the American Bar Association, Law School Admission Council and the Association of American Law Schools. She was appointed a member of the Board of Trustees for the N.A.L.P. Foundation for Law Career Research and Education from 2006 to 2018. Later, she served as chair from 2014 to 2016 for the foundation.
Professor Newton is a ground-breaking, prominent scholar of Indian law and policy. She currently serves as the editor-in-chief of Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, the only treatise on the subject. She has also authored numerous books, book chapters and articles on American Indian Law across her entire legal career. For 10 years, she regularly taught in the Pre-Law Summer Institute for Native American Students, a program funded by Congress to support native students during the summer before their first year of law school.