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White named dean at University of Miami School of Law

March 26, 2009

Patricia D. White, former dean and Jack Brown Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, has been named dean of the University of Miami School of Law. (Read the announcement here.)

"The University of Miami has made a wonderful choice for the dean of its law school," said U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (ret.). "Trish White was a superb dean at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, and she will come to Miami with experience, wisdom, and enthusiasm."

White served as dean at ASU from January 1999 through June 2008, and presided over the College of Law's renaming to the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law in 2006.

She is a visiting professor at the Georgetown University Law Center this year, and is serving as Special Counsel to Steptoe & Johnson, LLP in Washington, D.C.

Paul Schiff Berman, who succeeded White in July, praised her tenure as the longest serving dean in the history of the College.

Trish White was an enormously successful dean at Arizona State University, and her creative, humane leadership served the school extremely well over much of the past decade," Berman said. "Although we will miss her, I have no doubt that she will do great things at the University of Miami, and I wish her well."

Under White's leadership, the College of Law faculty doubled in size; the student-teacher ratio became the third best in the country; interdisciplinary and joint programs in medicine, philosophy, psychology, international law, and real estate development were created; a nationally acclaimed legal writing program was developed; five new clinics were added; an exceptionally active pro bono program for students was established; the faculty's publications gained national recognition; and two centers of excellence - the Indian Legal Program and the Center for the Study of Law, Science, & Technology - became preeminent.

The University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala welcomed White.

"The University of Miami has gained a visionary leader in the legal education arena," Shalala said. "Her vast experience, energy, and innovative spirit will greatly enhance the law school's national profile."

White earned her bachelor's, master's and juris doctorate at the University of Michigan. She has published widely in the areas of tax law, bioethics, philosophy of law, legal education and torts. She has taught at the Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Michigan and the University of Utah and has had extensive practice experience in tax law and in estate planning. She is a member of the District of Columbia, Michigan, and Utah bars and is an elected Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. She recently was awarded the Judge Learned Hand Award for distinguished public service by the Arizona chapter of the American Jewish Committee.

"I am excited about the potential of the University of Miami Law School and delighted about the opportunity to lead it at this point in its history," White said. "My years at ASU have been enormously satisfying and interesting and I will very much miss the many friends and colleagues I have known here. Arizona will always have a special place in my heart."

Judy Nichols,
(480) 727-7895
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law