Camille A. Nelson, a distinguished legal scholar and professor of law at Hofstra University School of Law, will become dean of Suffolk University Law School, effective Sept. 1, 2010.
Nelson will be the first woman and the first person of color to hold that position in Suffolk Law School’s 104-year history.
“Camille Nelson joins us in sharing a longstanding conviction that the potential for excellence is unlocked when doors are opened to people of ability from all backgrounds and circumstances, and I am confident that she will continue Suffolk University Law School’s mission of opportunity,” said Suffolk University President David J. Sargent. “She is committed to public service and the pursuit of social justice, and we expect that the Law School will flourish through her energy, collaborative leadership style and vision.”
“I look forward to joining the Suffolk University community and to serving as dean of the Law School,” Nelson said. “Suffolk University Law School is an incredible place, and I am honored to be joining its ranks. It is a community of engaged scholars, dedicated teachers, involved alumni, hard-working professionals and exceptional students. The institutional commitment to service and to fostering access to the legal profession is inspiring and resonates strongly with me. There is a positive momentum at the school, and I am enthused about being a part of this vibrant institution."
Nelson was chosen to become Suffolk Law School’s 12th dean following a nationwide search and strong faculty support.
“Camille Nelson is an inspiring individual who has both the vision and the capacity to help us build on our success,” said Anthony P. Polito, co-chair of the Dean Search Committee and a professor of law at Suffolk University Law School. “She is an outstanding teacher and scholar, who understands our law school’s mission.”
Since September 2009, Nelson has been a faculty member and Professor of Law at Hofstra University School of Law, where courses she taught included Comparative Criminal Law and Transnational Law. Before joining Hofstra, she served as a visiting professor at Washington University in Saint Louis School of Law, where she became the Dean’s Distinguished Scholar in Residence. From 2000 to 2009, she was a Professor of Law at Saint Louis University School of Law, where she taught Contracts, Criminal Law, Critical Race Theory, Legal Profession and Sports Law Ethics.
Education and scholarship
Following her undergraduate education at the University of Toronto, Nelson received her law degree from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and went on to receive a Master of Laws from Columbia Law School in New York. She clerked for Justice Frank Iacobucci of the Supreme Court of Canada and then worked as an associate at McCarthy Tetrault in Toronto, the largest law firm in Canada.
Nelson is widely recognized for her writings and lectures, which have focused on the intersection of critical race theory and cultural studies. Her writings are respected for both their insights and creativity. Nelson has published nearly two dozen journal and law review articles, including articles in the Iowa Law Review, the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism, the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, the University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy and the Wisconsin Law Review.
As a gifted teacher, Nelson was named Faculty Member of the Year at Saint Louis University School of Law in 2004. In 2006, she received the university-wide Faculty Excellence Award from Saint Louis University. Nelson was honored with an Extraordinary Service Award from the National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference at George Washington University School of Law in 2004. In 2005, she received the Derrick A. Bell Jr. Faculty Award from the Association of American Law Schools, Section on Minority Groups, for her activism, mentoring, colleagueship, teaching and scholarship. In 2010 she was elected to the American Law Institute.