John Marshall Law School dean named president-elect of Association of American Law Schools

Darby Dickerson. Photo: John Marshall Law School

Darby Dickerson, dean of the John Marshall Law School, was named president-elect of the Association of American Law Schools for 2019 and president in 2020. She was unanimously selected for the position by the organization’s House of Delegates during its annual meeting in New Orleans.

In July, the board of trustees of both the University of Illinois and The John Marshall Law School voted to create UIC John Marshall Law School — Chicago’s first and only public law school. The acquisition has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. For more information, visit

In addition to serving on the AALS executive committee, Dickerson is a past chair of several AALS sections, including the Section for the Law School Dean and the Institutional Advancement Section. In January 2018, she received the lifetime achievement award from the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research.

Dickerson began her full-time academic career in 1995 as a professor at Stetson University College of Law. During the early years of her career, Dickerson emerged as a leader in professional organizations, such as the Association of Legal Writing Directors, the Legal Writing Institute and the American Bar Association. At Stetson University, she held the titles of associate dean, vice dean, interim dean, and was named dean in 2004.

After leaving Stetson in 2011, she was dean and the W. Frank Newton Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law before becoming dean at John Marshall in December 2016. She is one of few women in history to have served as dean at three law schools. She was also one of the first full-time legal writing professors to serve as dean of a law school, and over her career, she has worked to improve the status of legal writing professors by appointing them to associate dean and other administrative positions. She is a past director of the Association of Legal Writing Directors and a past president and current Director of Scribes-The American Society of Legal Writers.

Dickerson earned her B.A. and M.A. from The College of William & Mary and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. After graduation, she clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and then practiced commercial litigation with the law firm now known as Locke Lord in Dallas.

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