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University of Miami names new law school dean


Miami Herald

March 26, 2009

The University of Miami announced Thursday it has named a new law school dean -- Patricia D. White, a nationally known leader in legal education.

White is currently the Jack Brown professor of law at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where she served as law dean for nine years.

This term, White is visiting professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and is serving as special counsel to Steptoe & Johnson, LLP in Washington, D.C.

White will begin work at UM in July.

She replaces Paul R. Verkuil, who has served as acting dean for the last year, and Dennis O. Lynch, who served as law dean for a decade before stepping down in 2008. ''The University of Miami has gained a visionary leader in the legal education arena,'' UM President Donna Shalala said in a prepared statement. ``Her vast experience, energy and innovative spirit will greatly enhance the law school's national profile.''

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor praised the UM's appointment of White.

''The University of Miami has made a wonderful choice for the dean of its law school. 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.'' Professor White joined the Arizona State University College of Law faculty as dean and was the longest serving dean in the history of the school.

Her leadership marked a transformative and innovative period for the law school.

White earned her BA, MA and JD degrees at the University of Michigan.

She has published widely in the areas of tax law, bioethics, philosophy of law, legal education and torts

She has taught at the Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Michigan and the University of Utah and has had extensive practice experience in tax law and in estate planning.

Last week, she was awarded the Judge Learned Hand Award for distinguished public service by the Arizona chapter of the American Jewish Committee.