UVA Selects Risa L. Goluboff as Dean of the School of Law

Risa Goluboff will become the 12th dean of the School of Law, and will be the first woman to hold that office.
November 20, 2015

The University of Virginia announced today that Risa L. Goluboff has been selected as the 12th dean of the School of Law. The appointment is effective July 1.

Goluboff, a renowned legal historian specializing in civil rights, is the John Allan Love Professor of Law and Professor of History at UVA and serves as the director of the J.D.-M.A. in history dual-degree program. She also is a faculty affiliate of UVA’s Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies and faculty associate of the Governing America in a Global Era Program at UVA’s Miller Center. Goluboff will be the first woman dean of the School of Law.

“Risa Goluboff’s dedication and vision make her the ideal candidate to move the Law School forward in ways that will benefit both the school and the University,” President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “Risa brings to the deanship exceptionally strong scholarship, leadership ability and passion.”

Goluboff succeeds Paul G. Mahoney, who will return to the faculty, which he first joined in 1990. Mahoney is the David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law and Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law.

“On behalf of the University community, I express our deep gratitude to Paul Mahoney for his years of service as dean of the School of Law,” Sullivan said. “He guided the school to greater prominence and solidified its position as one of our nation’s great law schools, and we are very fortunate that he will remain on the faculty and a member of our community.”

Consistently ranked among the top law schools in the U.S., the UVA School of Law is the nation’s second-oldest continuously operating law school. In 2015, the school awarded 367 Juris Doctorates, 40 Master of Law degrees and one Doctor of Juridical Science degree. For the Class of 2018 pursuing J.D. degrees, 304 students enrolled from an applicant pool of 4,568.

Goluboff has written or co-written numerous books, articles and book chapters and received UVA’s prestigious All-University Teaching Award. She is the author of the 2010 book, “The Lost Promise of Civil Rights,” which received the Order of the Coif award for best book in the legal field and the James Willard Hurst Prize. Her other awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship and the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship. 

Goluboff received a Bachelor of Arts in history and sociology from Harvard College, a Juris Doctorate from the Yale School of Law and a doctorate in history from Princeton University. After graduating law school, she clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

“We are delighted that Risa has agreed to serve in this important leadership position,” UVA Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas C. Katsouleas said. “She is arguably the most prominent legal historian of her generation and the kind of teacher who transforms lives. With appointments in three other departments across the University of Virginia, Risa is a leader in interdisciplinary partnerships. This is critical to the faculty team-building philosophy we are embracing at UVA to better serve our students and produce cutting-edge research.”

“Having served UVA’s School of Law and the University for the past 13 years, this is a dream come true,” Goluboff said. “UVA has long been a model of legal education – dedicated to advancing scholarly excellence, training top-notch lawyers and serving the public interest. I am honored to be a part of this historic institution and build upon its legacy.”

“We would also like to express our gratitude to the search committee, chaired by John Jeffries, for the diligent, thoughtful and collegial recruitment and deliberations in choosing the next dean of the UVA School of Law,” Katsouleas said. “I believe that the extraordinary quality of the candidates for this position reflects the many accomplishments of Paul Mahoney and the many others who have positioned the school as one of the best in the country.”

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Anthony P. de Bruyn

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