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Harvard Law School Names New Dean
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John Manning Harvard

Summary: Harvard Law School announced John Manning will be taking over leadership of the school starting in July.

Harvard Law School’s next dean will be John F. Manning, the Bruce Bromley Professor of Law and current deputy dean. Manning has a well-respected law scholar that has expertise in structural constitutional and statutory interpretation law. His position as dean will be effective starting July 1.


Manning said of the announcement, “I feel honored and grateful to President [Drew] Faust for the opportunity to lead Harvard Law School as we enter our third century. And I feel privileged to work alongside our exceptional students, staff, faculty, and alumni, whose invaluable contributions to legal scholarship, education, and practice inspire me every day.”

Harvard President Faust said, “John Manning is known among colleagues and students for his intellect and humility, his wisdom and integrity, his energy and openness,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. He has an unusual capacity for creating conversations and connections across lines of difference, and a deep appreciation for a wide range of perspectives and methods. Over and again during the search, I heard people remark on his magnetic enthusiasm for the law, his strong academic values, his collaborative instincts, and his extraordinary devotion not just to Harvard Law School as an institution but to the people — faculty, students, staff, and alumni — who are the lifeblood of its vital work. I’m delighted that he has agreed to guide Harvard Law School forward.”

Manning added, “Generation after generation, Harvard Law School prepares leaders who shape the law and institutions in the private bar, the public-interest community, government, business, academia, and beyond. Our unique strength comes from our large, excellent, and wonderfully diverse community — people whose many backgrounds, many lived experiences, many interests, and many perspectives energize all that we do. With them, I look forward to exploring how we can best nurture important scholarship on pressing issues, how we can embrace innovative teaching and learning, how we can further the best ideals of law and justice, and how we can together deepen an environment of belonging and mutual respect in which we discuss and debate the hard and crucial questions that belong at the heart of what we do.”

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Manning graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School where he has since served as a faculty member since 2004 after spending ten years at Columbia Law School. He has also spent time as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in the Office of Legal Counsel and Office of the Solicitor General.

On campus, Manning has been acknowledged as a “University citizen” for his work as a member of the University-wide Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging, a member of the HarvardX faculty committee, and a member of Vice Provost for Advances in Learning’s faculty advisory committee.

In the legal world, Manning has published over 40 articles for leading law journals and is co-editor of two leading casebooks. He is a past chair of Harvard Law School’s lateral faculty appointments and currently teaches courses on federal courts, administrative law, separation of powers, legislation and regulation, and statutory interpretation.

Early on in his career, Manning served as a law clerk for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia and Judge Robert H. Bork of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He also worked as an associate for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington D.C.

Faust expressed in a letter to the law school community gratitude to Martha Minow, who is concluding her deanship at Harvard Law. Minow added, “Harvard Law School will be fortunate to have at the helm such an outstanding person whose scholarship, teaching, public service, and devotion to justice and the rule of law exemplify the School’s highest aspirations. John Manning’s generosity of spirit, his superb judgment and integrity, his commitment to respectful and vigorous consideration of all points of view, and his longstanding contributions to strengthening community illuminate our crucial values, and I look forward to the splendid next chapter for this exceptional School.”

Are you surprised by the choice? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about other recent law school dean announcements, read these articles:




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