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School of Law Dean Announced

Darby Dickerson will become the next dean of the School of Law effective July 29.

Written by Leslie Cranford

Darby Dickerson

Dickerson teaches or has taught alternative dispute resolution, legal research and writing, federal pretrial practice, litigation ethics and torts.

Officials at Texas Tech announced today (May 26) that Darby Dickerson will become the next dean of the School of Law effective July 29.

The announcement came from Provost Bob Smith.

Dickerson comes to Texas Tech from the Stetson University College of Law in Florida, where she joined the faculty in 1995 as an assistant professor and moved through the ranks to assume the deanship in 2004.

"We are pleased that Darby Dickerson has accepted our offer to become dean of the School of Law," said Guy Bailey, president of Texas Tech. "She is well-known throughout the law community as an administrator and published author. Darby will bring a fresh perspective to what is already one of the top law programs in the country."

Smith said Dickerson is an excellent fit for Texas Tech’s Law School.

"Dean Dickerson has an impressive track record, maintaining Stetson’s number one-ranked trial advocacy program and building a highly-ranked legal writing program," Smith said. "She oversaw many new programs as well as an increase in quality and diversity in the student body. We are confident that she will lead Texas Tech’s law school to achieve many great accomplishments."

Dickerson also will hold the W. Frank Newton Endowed Professorship. She replaces interim dean Susan Saab Fortney, who assumed leadership in 2010 after Walter Huffman stepped down as dean after nine years.

"It is a true honor to join Texas Tech," Dickerson said. "I look forward to working with everyone there to continue building an outstanding program of legal education. I have been most impressed by the faculty, students, staff and alumni I’ve met so far. Their amazing spirit and talent drew me in very quickly."

About Dean Dickerson

Dickerson teaches or has taught alternative dispute resolution, legal research and writing, federal pretrial practice, litigation ethics and torts. From fall 1995 until December 1999, she served as the faculty advisor to the Moot Court Board, and is a co-founder of Stetson’s International Environmental Moot Court Competition. She has served as an advisor to the Stetson Law Review from 1996 to 2004.

Her research interests include higher education law and policy, legal citation and litigation ethics. Her articles appear in the Nebraska Law Review, the Stetson Law Review, the Maryland Law Review, the Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, the Toledo Law Review (Law School Leadership Symposium), and the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics.

Born and raised in Columbia, S. C., Dickerson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The College of William and Mary, and her doctor of jurisprudence degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law. After law school, she clerked for a federal judge and then practiced commercial litigation at the predecessor to Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP in Dallas.

Dickerson also is an accomplished teacher and scholar, winning Stetson’s top awards in both areas. She authored a leading book on legal citation, and writes and speaks regularly on a variety of topics related to law and higher education, including campus safety and security; risk and crisis management; academic integrity; alcohol and other drug prevention; cyberspace issues; and student mental health. In 2007 she was elected to the prestigious American Law Institute.

Active in the local and professional communities, she works with the Red Cross and chambers of commerce, has chaired the reappointment committee of a U.S. Magistrate Judge, led a local Inn of Court, and holds leadership positions within the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools. In 2010 she was named Business Woman of the Year by the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce; in 2005, she was named the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Business Woman of the Year in the Nonprofit and Social Services category.

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7 Responses to “School of Law Dean Announced”

  1. Karen Carpenter Says:

    This is good news! Our question is if I were to attend TTU Law School for a degree, is it ABA recognized?

  2. Jason Says:

    Texas Tech University School of Law has been accredited by the ABA since 1970.

  3. Mary Says:

    Yes! TTU Law School is an ABA-accredited law school.

  4. LMII Says:

    Seriously? Texas Tech Law School, allegedly one of the best programs in the nation, couldn’t find a Dean from a more prestigious university than STETSON? I am not sure what “NEW” perspectives she is bringing to Lubbock from St. Petersburg, but I am NOT impressed one bit that we hired someone from Stetson regardless of her publishing record. TTU is definitely a step up for her, and I hope that she can continue to lead the law school in the right direction.

  5. Aria Boulder Says:

    Sad to say what a negative reflection this is on Tech. Nothing personal against Ms. Dickerson, but if Tech really was such an up and coming law school, we would not be resorting to Stetson, a 4th tier school, to find our new Dean. It’s the equivalent of hopping down to South Texas College of Law to find a new Dean. So Stetson has a decent advocacy program. Big whoop. Last I heard, Yale hasn’t bragged about its advocacy program in years, if they even have one. That’s because they have much bigger things to do.

    Good ole’ Tech. Red-haired step child indeed.

  6. Jeff Says:

    Trust me she is a great hire! She has worked her way up the ladder very quickly and has earned it. Proud we got her to come here to Tech

  7. response Says:

    LMII is seriously misinformed. Stetson University School of Law is ranked higher than Texas Tech University in the US News and World Reports. It is consistently ranked as one of the best programs in Legal Writing and Advocacy. We are lucky to have such a capable person at the helm.

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The Texas Tech School of Law is a leader among Texas law schools with a 16-year average pass rate of 90 percent on the State Bar Exam.

A small student body, a diverse faculty and a low student-faculty ratio (15.3:1) promotes learning and encourages interaction between students and professors.

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