Three Women Who Have Been Appointed Deans at Law Schools in the United States

Leigh Saufley was named dean of the University of Maine School of Law. Until earlier this month, she was the Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. She held that role since 2001. Justice Saufley served as deputy attorney general before being named a district court judge in 1993. She served as an associate justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for four years before being elevated to Chief Justice.

Dean Saufly holds a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctorate from the University of Maine.

Camille Nelson will be the next dean of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She will take office on August 1. Since 2015, Professor Nelson has served as dean of the American University Washington College of Law. She previously served as dean of the Suffolk University Law School in Boston from 2010 to 2015. Before joining the faculty at Suffolk University, Professor Nelson taught for nearly a decade at the Saint Louis University School of Law.

A native of Jamaica, Professor Nelson is a graduate of the University of Toronto and earned a law degree at the University of Ottawa. She also holds a master’s degree in law from Columbia University. She was the first Black woman to clerk for the Supreme Court of Canada.

Patricia Roberts was appointed dean of the St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, effective June 1. She currently serves as vice dean at the William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Roberts earned her bachelor’s degree from what is now Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, with a double major in biology and psychology. She practiced law for eight years as a solo practitioner and later as a managing partner of a civil practice law firm after earning her law degree from William & Mary.


Filed Under: Appointments


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