Saying 10 years is long enough, Nell Jessup Newton will be stepping down as dean of the Notre Dame Law School July 1, 2019.
Newton joined Notre Dame as law school dean and full tenured professor July 1, 2009. The Fighting Irish lured her from the University of California Hastings College of Law where she served as chancellor and dean for three years.
“I think 10 years you can make an impact on the school then it’s time to let the next person make their impact,” Newton of her decision to leave the deanship. “Ten years is a fabulous length of time.”
Although she is moving from the dean’s office, Newton will remain on the faculty. Her area of expertise is American Indian law, and she has taught at the law school’s externship program in Washington, D.C. For the fall semester of 2019, Newton will be on sabbatical at the law school’s London Center, where she plans to work on developing externship programs for the students.
As for Notre Dame, Newton said the law school is in good shape. She came as the Great Recession was taking hold and steered the law school through a tumultuous time in legal education that saw applications slump, particularly from high-achieving undergraduates, and graduates struggle to find J.D.-required jobs.
“We weathered the storm pretty well,” Newton said, giving credit to the law school’s faculty. “I’m very proud of how well we did.”
The law school is conducting a search for a new dean.