Patricia D. White named new law school dean


The University of Miami announced last week that it has hired a dean to take over the School of Law.

Patricia D. White, currently the Jack Brown Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, will replace acting dean Paul R. Verkuil who has served in that capacity since former longtime dean Dennis O. Lynch stepped down in May 2008 to return to the faculty. During this academic year, she is serving as a visiting professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and is acting as Special Counsel to Steptoe & Johnson, LLP in Washington, D.C. She will join the university in July.

“The University of Miami has gained a visionary leader in the legal education arena,” university president Donna E. Shalala said in a statement released by the university. “Her vast experience, energy, and innovative spirit will greatly enhance the law school’s national profile.”

White joined ASU in 1999 and served as dean until 2008, becoming the longest-serving law school dean in the history of the school. In her time, she doubled the faculty, giving the school the third-best faculty-to-student ratio in the country, and spawned a number of new initiatives, including an active pro-bono program for students.

“The University of Miami has made a wonderful choice for the dean of its law school,” retired Supreme Court Justice and namesake of ASU’s College of Law Sandra Day O’Connor said in a statement released by the university. “Trish White was a superb dean at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and she will come to Miami with experience, wisdom, and enthusiasm.”

The law school hire is the first of two announcements on dean hires expected in the coming weeks. According to Shalala, the search for a replacement for Dean Otis Brown at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is drawing to a close and an selection is expected before the end of the academic year.

Stay with as more information on the Law School and RSMAS deans becomes available.