Professor Annette Clark, a 1989 graduate of Seattle University School of Law and a highly accomplished scholar, teacher and administrator, will be its next dean, effective July 1. She is the first alumnus of the law school to be chosen to lead it.
Clark has a keen understanding of the challenges and possibilities facing legal education today, President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., said in announcing her appointment.
"Her talent, experience, and longstanding commitment to the university convinced her colleagues at the School of Law, alumni, other university officials and me that she was the clear first choice and a national search was unnecessary," Sundborg said. "I am particularly proud that a graduate of our law school will serve as its next dean — a first for the school."
Clark looks forward to leading the law school that has been such a huge part of her life. Her appointment as dean brings to her mind one of her favorite quotations from Khalil Gibran: "Work is love made visible."
"That's always been true for me at Seattle University, which has been my academic home for so many years. I am pleased and proud to have been chosen to lead this law school and especially proud to be a dean who is also an alumna of this institution," Clark said. "I'm committed to working together as a community — faculty, staff, students, alumni and our friends and partners in the legal profession — to set a course for this law school that will enhance and strengthen our program of legal education and best serve the interests of our outstanding students and graduates."
The change in leadership will be seamless as Clark and Dean Mark Niles work through the transition together. Pressing family concerns forced Niles to return to Washington D.C., at the end of the academic year.
Clark has had a stellar career. After receiving her M.D. with honors from the University of Washington School of Medicine and her J.D. summa cum laude from Seattle University School of Law, she joined the law faculty in 1989. Along with her teaching and scholarly activities, she served in a number of leadership positions including as associate dean for academic affairs, vice dean and interim dean. After a year as dean at St. Louis University School of Law, she returned to Seattle University's faculty last fall.
Clark was the 2008-09 James B. McGoldrick Fellow, which is awarded to a faculty member or administrator who best exemplifies a commitment to students and to the values of a Jesuit education. She received the Seattle Journal for Social Justice Faculty Award in 2005, the Dean's Medal the following year and the Outstanding Faculty Award in 2007 and 2011. Earlier this month, the university recognized her excellence in teaching, scholarship and service and promoted her to Professor of Law.
She teaches and writes in the areas of medical liability, bioethics and legal education and is a frequent national and local lecturer on these topics. She is a respected health law scholar nationally and has published articles in the New York University Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, and the Tulane Law Review, among others.