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David Lopez Selected as Rutgers Law Co-Dean
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David Lopez

Summary: Former EEOC general counsel David Lopez is slated to serve as co-dean of Rutgers Law School Newark campus.

Rutgers Law School has appointed a new co-dean, according to an announcement by the university. The law school’s new leader is not from the academic world but instead is the former general counsel for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and leader of an employment law firm, according to


David Lopez was selected by Rutgers University-Newark’s Chancellor Nancy Cantor. The nomination must be approved by the board of governors, which meet in June. Assuming he is approved, he will serve as co-dean in the Newark law school, according to ROI-NJ.

Currently, Lopez is a partner with an employment law firm in Washington D.C., Outten & Golden’s. He is part of their discrimination and retaliation group. Prior to this law firm position, Lopez was with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for six years as the lead lawyer for the administrative agency that keeps tabs on federal employment anti-discrimination laws. He had been with the agency for a total of 22 years.

Lopez will be replacing Ronald Chen in August, who is returning to teaching as a full-time professor. He has been in the leadership position for five years. Michael Cahill will still be the co-dean based out of the Camden location. The two schools merged in 2015 but kept their individual locations. Lopez visited both campuses as part of the interview process, meeting the faculty and staff at both.

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Lopez does have experience in front of a classroom. He served as a lecturer at Harvard Law this past spring to teach “Frontiers of Civil Rights Enforcement.” He has also been an adjunct at Georgetown University Law Center.

Lopez began his legal career as an associate at Spiegel and McDiarmid. He was there three years before joining with the U.S. Department of Justice as a senior trial attorney in the civil rights division’s employment litigation section. He then moved on to be a field prosecutor for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before being made their general counsel.

Do you think law schools could benefit from more administrators that are not career academics? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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