Valparaiso University Law School taps capital defense expert as new dean

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Andrea D. Lyon, associate dean for clinical programs at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, will join the Valparaiso University Law School as dean on June 2, 2014. She has experience both teaching and practicing law, and is a national expert in criminal defense.

“The match between Professor Lyon’s gifts and commitments and the law school’s mission and curricular emphases suggests she is very much the right person for the right position as the right time,” said Mark Schwehn, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “She will make a splendid addition to our entire community of learning.”

Valparaiso Law School started its search for a new dean in the spring of this year after Jay Conison stepped down to become dean at the Charlotte School of Law in North Carolina. Valparaiso wanted a dean who would take a leadership role in implementing the new curriculum as well as play an active role in developing more career opportunities for students and taking a collaborative approach to governance.

Ivan Bodensteiner, professor of law, has been serving as interim dean.

In additional to her role as associate dean at DePaul, Lyon is a clinical professor of law, director of the Darrow Death Penalty Defense College and director of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases.

Prior to her career as an educator, she was the director of the Illinois Capital Resource Center and held several positions at the Office of the Cook County Public Defender in Chicago where she was the first woman to serve as lead counsel on a death penalty case. She eventually rose to the position of chief of the homicide task force and tried more than 100 homicide cases, many of which were capital cases.

“As a professor and practitioner, I try to inspire people to do their best,” Lyon said. “At Valpo, its evident the faculty care about their students. This is a school of opportunity where students from a diverse array of backgrounds are inspired to create change.”   

Lyon blogs regularly for the Huffington Post and has published extensively. Her autobiography, “Angel of Death Row: My Life as a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer,” details the 19 cases in which Lyon defended clients.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University and received her law degree from the Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C.


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  1. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  2. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  3. Paul Hartman of Burbank, Oh who is helping Sister Fuller with this Con Artist Kevin Bart McCarthy scares Sister Joseph Therese, Patricia Ann Fuller very much that McCarthy will try and hurt Patricia Ann Fuller and Paul Hartman of Burbank, Oh or any member of his family. Sister is very, very scared, (YES, I AM) This McCarthy guy is a real, real CON MAN and crook. I try to totall flatter Kevin Bart McCARTHY to keep him from hurting my best friends in this world which are Carolyn Rose and Paul Hartman. I Live in total fear of this man Kevin Bart McCarthy and try to praise him as a good man to keep us ALL from his bad deeds. This man could easy have some one cause us a very bad disability. You have to PRAISAE in order TO PROTECT yourself. He lies and makes up stories about people and then tries to steal if THEY OWN THRU THE COURTS A SPECIAL DEVOTION TO PROTECT, EX> Our Lady of America DEVOTION. EVERYONE who reads this, PLEASE BE CAREFUL of Kevin Bart McCarthy of Indianapolis, IN My Phone No. IS 419-435-3838.

  4. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.

  5. I had a hospital and dcs caseworker falsify reports that my child was born with drugs in her system. I filed a complaint with the Indiana department of health....and they found that the hospital falsified drug screens in their investigation. Then I filed a complaint with human health services in Washington DC...dcs drug Testing is unregulated and is indicating false positives...they are currently being investigated by human health services. Then I located an attorney and signed contracts one month ago to sue dcs and Anderson community hospital. Once the suit is filed I am taking out a loan against the suit and paying a law firm to file a writ of mandamus challenging the courts jurisdiction to invoke chins case against me. I also forwarded evidence to a u.s. senator who contacted hhs to push an investigation faster. Once the lawsuit is filed local news stations will be running coverage on the situation. Easy day....people will be losing their jobs soon...and judge pancol...who has attempted to cover up what has happened will also be in trouble. The drug testing is a kids for cash and federal funding situation.