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Dean of Harvard Law School

Dean of Harvard Law School

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The Dean of Harvard Law School is the head of Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest continually-operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. The school is routinely ranked by the U.S...

. The current Dean is Martha Minow, the 12th person, and second woman to hold the post.

List of Deans of Harvard Law School


Founded in 1817, Harvard Law School is the oldest continuously operating law school in the United States. Since its founding, 12 people have officially served as Dean.
No. Picture Name Took office Left office
1
Christopher Columbus Langdell
Christopher Columbus Langdell
Christopher Columbus Langdell , American jurist, was born in the town of New Boston, New Hampshire, of English and Scots-Irish ancestry....

1870 1895
2 James Barr Ames
James Barr Ames
James Barr Ames was a American law educator, who popularized the "case-study" method of teaching law developed by Christopher Columbus Langdell. Ames insisted that legal education should require the study of actual cases instead of abstract principles of law...

1895 1910
3 Ezra Ripley Thayer 1910 1915
4 Roscoe Pound
Roscoe Pound
Nathan Roscoe Pound was a distinguished American legal scholar and educator. He was Dean of Harvard Law School from 1916 to 1936...

1916 1936
5 James M. Landis
James M. Landis
James McCauley Landis was an American academic, government official and legal adviser.-Biography:Landis was born in Tokyo, Japan, where his parents were teachers at a missionary school...

1937 1946
6
Erwin Griswold
Erwin Griswold
Erwin Nathaniel Griswold was an appellate attorney who argued many cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Griswold served as Solicitor General of the United States under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. He also served as Dean of Harvard Law School for 21 years. Several times he...

1946 1967
7 Derek Curtis Bok 1968 1971
8 Albert Martin Sacks 1971 1981
9 James Vorenberg
James Vorenberg
James Vorenberg, born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1927, was the Roscoe Pound Professor of Law and ninth Dean of Harvard Law School, former Watergate Associate Special Prosecutor, and first chair of the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission...

1981 1989
10 Robert C. Clark
Robert C. Clark
Robert C. Clark is currently Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor of the Harvard Law School. He previously served as Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School from 1989 to 2003. Clark is recognized as a leading authority in corporate law and corporate governance.-Career:Clark...

1989 2003
11 Elena Kagan
Elena Kagan
Elena Kagan is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving since August 7, 2010. Kagan is the Court's 112th justice and fourth female justice....

2003 2009
12 Martha Minow
Martha Minow
Martha Louise Minow is the Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law and the Dean of Harvard Law School. She teaches civil procedure, constitutional law, family law, international criminal justice, jurisprudence, law and education, nonprofit organizations, and the public law workshop...

2009 present

Acting Deans


Several individuals have also served as acting dean at one time or another. They are: Samuel Williston
Samuel Williston
Samuel Williston was an American lawyer and law professor.Early in Williston's career, from 1888 to 1889 he worked as the private secretary to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Horace Gray. In the summer of 1889, he helped to collate laws from various U.S...

 (1909–10), Austin Wakeman Scott
Austin Wakeman Scott
Austin Wakeman Scott wrote a ten-volume treatise covering many topics of personal trusts such as the formation and termination of express trusts, resulting and constructive trusts, and the conflicts of interest encountered in the administration of trusts...

 (1915–16), Edward Henry Warren (1921–22), Joseph Warren (1925–26 and 1929), Joseph Henry Beale
Joseph Henry Beale
Joseph Henry Beale was an American law professor at Harvard Law School and served as the first dean of University of Chicago Law School...

 (1929–30), Edmund Morris Morgan (1936–37, 1942–45), Robert Amory, Jr. (1948), Livingston Hall
Livingston Hall
Livingston Hall was most notably the Roscoe Pound Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He graduated from Harvard Law in 1927 before working in private practice and as a US Attorney. Hall returned to Harvard and began teaching in 1932. He retired in 1971.During World War II, Hall served in the...

(1959), Andrew James Casner (1967–68), and Howell E. Jackson (2009).

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