The Suffolk University Board of Trustees has selected Andrew Perlman, an educator at the vanguard of innovative legal education, to be the next dean of Suffolk University Law School. His tenure as dean will begin on Aug. 1, 2015.
Perlman, a Suffolk Law faculty member and founding director of its Institute on Law Practice Technology and Innovation and the related Legal Technology and Innovation Concentration, is a nationally recognized voice on the future of legal education and law practice.
Both in his academic role and in his service to the profession, Perlman has focused on the rapidly evolving legal marketplace and how law schools must prepare students in response to the changing environment.
“I am deeply honored to serve as the next dean of Suffolk University Law School,” said Perlman. “Suffolk has a longstanding tradition of training outstanding lawyers who are prepared to meet the needs of their clients and the public. We have highly ranked clinical and legal writing programs, and we’ve been ahead of the curve with our nationally recognized program in legal technology and innovation. I’m excited to work with the entire Law School community to build on these and our many other strengths to ensure that our students remain ready for the challenges and opportunities of a modern legal profession.”
Perlman was the chief reporter of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Ethics 20/20. In that capacity, he played a key role in drafting amendments to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct that respond to changes in technology and increased globalization. He also recently was appointed by ABA President William Hubbard to serve as the vice chair of the new ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services, which is examining how to improve the delivery of, and the public’s access to, legal services.
“Andy Perlman brings top-level leadership to the Suffolk deanship,” said Hubbard. “He is both creative and practical. He has a vision for the future of legal services; he executes with clarity and precision; and he will lead Suffolk Law in a way that prepares its graduates to be innovative and highly successful and valued counselors to their clients.”
“Andrew Perlman is an ideal leader for the law school of the twenty-first century,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Marisa Kelly. “From his prescient focus on technology and its growing importance in the practice of law to his academic writing and consummate people skills, Andrew has stirred excitement among our educators and in the wider legal community.”
Perlman conceived and is the director of Suffolk Law School’s Legal Technology and Innovation Concentration, which offers law students the knowledge and skills to succeed in the current legal environment.
He wants to explore new collaborations with Suffolk’s Sawyer Business School and College of Arts & Sciences to ensure that the Law School’s graduates have access to the increasingly diverse range of skills that are necessary for professional success.
“It’s a credit to Suffolk University Law School that the ideal candidate for the deanship comes from within its ranks,” said Andrew C. Meyer, Jr., chair of the Suffolk Board of Trustees. “The search committee and the trustees looked at many candidates from across the nation, but the legal educator with the most exciting ideas was already putting them to work in our Law School. As dean, he will take the school to even higher levels. We are eager to witness his innovations in the years to come.”
In more than 14 years teaching professional responsibility, civil procedure and federal courts at Suffolk Law School, Perlman has taught more than 1,500 students and kept in touch with many of them and other alumni in numerous contexts. He plans to deepen these connections and develop new ones as he seeks to enhance the Law School’s ties with alumni while improving the Law School’s advancement efforts.
Perlman succeeds Dean Camille Nelson, who joined the Law School in 2010. Among her areas of focus was addressing the “justice gap”—the lack of access to legal services for the high percentage of Americans who can’t afford them. Under her leadership, the Law School launched a first-of-its-kind Accelerator to Practice program—a comprehensive, three-year course of study and practice designed to prepare graduates to join or start sustainable law practices serving average-income individuals and families. She also established the Institute on Law Practice Technology & Innovation and appointed Perlman as its inaugural director. Perlman praised Nelson, noting that “she has been a tremendous leader, valued colleague, and true visionary. Dean Nelson leaves very big shoes to fill.”
Perlman has taught at Boston University School of Law, Columbia Law School and Harvard College. His scholarship has appeared in some of the nation’s leading law reviews, and he is the co-author of a civil procedure casebook that has been adopted at more than 70 law schools.
In addition to his work for the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 and the Commission on the Future of Legal Services, his activities on behalf of the legal profession have included serving as the 2014 chair of the 800-member Professional Responsibility Section of the Association of American Law Schools. He also serves on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct and recently argued on the committee’s behalf before the Supreme Judicial Court.
Before entering academia, Perlman clerked for a federal district court judge in Chicago and practiced as a litigator there. Perlman is an honors graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School, and he received his LLM from Columbia Law School.