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UW Law Announces Addition of Mario L. Barnes as Dean
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UW Law

Summary: Mario L. Barnes is set to join the University of Washington School of Law as the new dean.

The University of Washington School of Law announced on Thursday who the next dean of the law school will be. According to UW News, Mario L. Barnes has been selected as the next leader of the law school. President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Jerry Baldasty stated that Barnes will begin his new role on July 5, pending approval by the UW Board of Regents.


Baldasty said, “With his expertise in and commitment to diversity and equality, President Ana Mari Cauce and I are very pleased that Professor Barnes has agreed to lead the UW School of Law, which is dedicated to solving problems and advancing social justice. The School encourages students to pursue their deepest interests, as it integrates education and experiential learning.”

Barnes is currently with the University of California, Irvine where he works as a professor and senior associate dean for academic affairs. He is recognized for his work in research on the legal and social implications of gender and race, especially in criminal, education, employment, and military law. The courses he instructions include constitutional law, critical theories, criminal justice, and national security law. He is the co-director of the UCI Center on Law, Equality, and Race is a faculty affiliate in the Center for Law, Society & Culture, and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Criminology, Law & Society. He has been the associate dean for research and faculty development for the UCI School of Law.

The National Jurist Magazine named Barnes in 2015 as one of 20 national leaders in promoting diversity in legal education. Before turning to academia, Barnes spent 12 years on active duty with the U.S. Navy. During this time he was a prosecutor, defense counsel, special assistant U.S. attorney, and on the commission investigating the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. He officially retired in 2013 after 23 years with the Navy.

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Barnes said, “As a person whose life has been transformed by the opportunities afforded by public research universities, I am excited and honored to be joining the UW community. I was immediately attracted to the law school’s access mission, impeccable academic programs, and deep commitments to public service, innovation, and inclusive excellence. I look forward to working with campus leadership and law school faculty, staff, students and alumni to chart a way forward that ensures the institution will continue to produce practice-ready graduates who will have a local, national and global impact.”

Barnes earned his J.D. and bachelor’s from the University of California, Berkeley. He also completed a master of laws from the University of Wisconsin. Before joining UCI in 2009, Barnes was with the University of Miami School of Law as a member of the faculty. There he was selected twice as the Black Law Students Association’s Outstanding Law Professor. He was also a William H. Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

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