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Council Biographies for the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar

Leadership

2023-2024 Council

(Year denotes end of Council member's current term.)

Chair (2024)
Bridget Mary McCormack
President & CEO
American Arbitration Association
Ann Arbor, MI

Bridget Mary McCormack is President and CEO of the American Arbitration Association. She is also a Strategic Advisor to the Future of the Profession Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Until the end of 2022, McCormack was Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, a position her peers selected her for in January 2019 after she served for six years as a Justice. While on the Court, she championed innovation and the use of technology to improve access to justice.

A graduate of New York University Law School, McCormack started her legal career in New York City. In 1996, she joined the Yale Law School faculty. She then joined the University of Michigan Law School faculty in 1998, where she taught criminal law, legal ethics, and numerous clinics. She was Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs from 2002 until 2012.

McCormack was elected to The American Law Institute in 2013. The Attorney General of the United States appointed her to the National Commission on Forensic Science in 2014. In 2019, the Governor of Michigan named her Co-Chair of the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration. In 2020, she joined the American Bar Association’s Council on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar and currently serves as Vice Chair. In 2021, the Governor of Michigan asked her to co-chair the Michigan Task Force on Forensic Science and to chair the Michigan Jail Reform Advisory Council. She also chaired the Michigan Judicial Council, the strategic planning body for the judicial branch. In 2021, McCormack was also appointed to serve nationally on The Council of State Governments Healthy States National Task Force and the ABA Center for Innovation’s Governing Council. She was also named Chair of the ABA Board of Elections.

McCormack is an Editor of the ABA’s preeminent publication, Litigation Journal. She speaks and writes frequently about access to justice, innovation in the legal profession, and legal education.

McCormack is married to Steven Croley, General Counsel and Chief Policy Officer at Ford Motor Company. They have four adult children.

Chair-Elect (2024)
David A. Brennen
Professor and Former Dean
University of Kentucky College of Law
Lexington, KY

David A. Brennen served as dean of the University of Kentucky College of Law from 2009 - 2020. He joined UK in 2009 from the University of Georgia School of Law where he was a professor since 2006 and from the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) where he served a two-year term as deputy director. Along with nearly 30 years of experience in the classroom, Brennen is regarded as an innovator in the field of nonprofit law as it relates to taxation. He is a co-founder and coeditor of Nonprofit Law Prof Blog, founding editor of Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Abstracts, cofounder of the AALS Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law, and a co-author of one of the first law school casebooks on taxation of nonprofit organizations.

Brennen received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida Atlantic University in 1988 and his law degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1991, where he also received his LL.M. in tax law in 1994. In 2002, Brennen was elected to the American Law Institute and served as an adviser on the Restatement of the Law: Charitable Nonprofit Organizations. Brennen has also served in leadership roles with AALS, Society of American Law Teachers, Southeast Association of Law Schools, Law School Admission Council, ABA Accreditation Committee, and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Brennen began his career in legal education as an adjunct professor at Florida A&M University in 1994. He also held tenured/tenure track positions as a professor at Syracuse University, University of Richmond, Mercer University, and University of Georgia prior to his current position at the University of Kentucky. In addition, Brennen taught as a visiting professor at the University of Alabama, Temple University, and University of Florida.

After clerking with Moody & Salzman, PA in Gainesville, Florida, and Bobo, Spicer & Ciotoli, PA in West Palm Beach, Brennen practiced law at Messer, Vickers, Caparello, Madsen, Lewis, Goldman & Metz, PA in Tallahassee, and the State of Florida Department of Revenue.

He has been a member of the Florida Bar - Tax Section, American Bar Association - Section of Taxation, and the National Bar Association. In addition, he has served on several boards and held many special appointments, including Board President for Southeast Association of Law Schools, Board Chair for Bluegrass Care Navigators, Board Secretary for AccessLex, and 2019-20 Fellow for American Council on Education.

Vice Chair (2024)
Daniel Thies
Shareholder
Webber & Thies PC
Urbana, IL

Daniel Thies is a shareholder at Webber & Thies, P.C. in Urbana, Illinois. His practice focuses on litigation, insurance law, business representation, and estate planning.

Mr. Thies has served as Vice Chair of the Council of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education & Admissions to the Bar (2023-24), as Chair of the Standards Committee (2021-present), as Co-Chair of the Strategic Review Committee (2022-present), as Member of the Council Executive Committee (2019-present), as Member of the Managing Director Search Committee (2019-2020), as Chair of the Non-J.D. Committee (2018-2021), and as a Member of the Council (2018-present).

Mr. Thies served as Co-Chair and Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Presidential Special Committee on the Rural Practice Initiative, as Chair of the ISBA Standing Committee on Legal Education, Admission, & Competence, and as Chair of the ISBA’s Federal Civil Practice Section Council.

Mr. Thies served as the Reporter for the 2009-2010 ABA Presidential Commission on the Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Profession and Legal Needs, and as the Reporter for the 2012-2013 ISBA Special Committee on the Impact of Law School Debt on the Delivery of Legal Service. He has also represented Illinois as a delegate in the ABA Young Lawyers Division Assembly. Mr. Thies has served as an adjunct professor at the John Marshall Law School, teaching intellectual property and trial advocacy. Since 2023, he has served as Chair of the Board of the Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation.

Prior to joining Webber & Thies, Mr. Thies was an associate at Sidley Austin LLP (2013-2018). He also clerked for Chief Judge James F. Holderman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (2011–2013) and for Judge Jerry Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2010–2011). Mr. Thies graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2010 and magna cum laude from Yale University in 2007.

Secretary (2025)
Charles Ray Nash, Ed.D.
Senior Vice Chancellor Emeritus for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs
The University of Alabama System
Tuscaloosa, AL
Public Member

Charles R. Nash served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for The University of Alabama System from 1992 to 2020. As the senior academic officer in the System, he was the chief liaison to academic, institutional research, planning, and diversity, equity, and inclusion officials at The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and The University of Alabama in Huntsville. He advised the Chancellor on academic policy matters and provided primary leadership in program planning, development, and review. Additionally, he was the liaison officer for the UA System to the Alabama Department of Education, the Alabama Community College System, and the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. In 2009, his duties were expanded to include Student Affairs functions for The University of Alabama System.

Dr. Nash holds a bachelor’s degree from Jackson (Mississippi) State University, a master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a doctoral degree from Mississippi State University; and has studied at Southeastern Louisiana (graduate study), Stanford University (distance learning), Harvard University (Institute for Education Management), and the Oxford Roundtable (International Education).

Prior to assuming the Vice Chancellor position, Dr. Nash served as Associate Executive Director for the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He has also held the position of Dean of the School of Education at Armstrong Atlantic State University (Georgia) and Director of Special Studies and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Development for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. He began his career teaching junior high school science and served as a high school assistant principal and as an elementary school principal.

Dr. Nash completed a six-year term on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and served on the executive committee of the National Alliance of State Science and Mathematics Coalitions (NASSMC). He served on the Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee. He serves on the Access to Justice Commission of the Alabama Supreme Court, the governing board of the A+ Education Partnership of Alabama, the New York Academy of Sciences/SUNY STEM Advisory Committee, the Alabama Mathematics, Science, Technology, and Engineering Coalition for Education as Board Chairman, and the Executive Committee of the Alabama STEM Council. Charles also serves on the Boards of the Alabama Department of Human Resources, the Alabama Department of Child Neglect and Abuse Prevention, VOICES for Alabama’s Children and chairs Tuscaloosa’s Promise-the Alliance for Youth. He is treasurer of Elizabeth Project Care, facilities chairman of the Murphy African-American Museum, board member of the Tuscaloosa Education Foundation and the Foundation board of the Boys and Girls Club of West Alabama, and a founding member of THE100 Black Men of West Alabama.

For the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, he has served on the Accreditation Committee (AC), the Council, the AC’s Foreign Programs subcommittee, the Non-JD subcommittee, and the Standards Committee.

In 2009, Dr. Nash was inducted into the Burglund/McComb (Mississippi) High School Hall of Fame and was chosen as Citizen of the Year in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. In 2010, he was named a Pillar of the Community of West Alabama. He was presented the first Friend of the Alabama Mathematics, Science, and Technology Initiative Award by the Alabama Department of Education and the NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award. In September 2013, Nash was inducted into the Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame. Charles was awarded the Louis Dale Diversity Leadership Award by the Alabama Association of Higher Education Diversity Officers. He was a member of classes of Leadership Savannah, GA, Leadership Georgia, Leadership Tuscaloosa, AL, and Leadership Alabama.

Charles has also served as the President of the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa, the Chairman of the United Way of West Alabama, the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, Vice President and Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee and the Scout Reach Program of the Black Warrior Council of Boys Scouts of America, Chairman of the NASULGC/APLU Chief Academic Officers Council, Chairman of the Alabama Council of University Chief Academic Officers, and Chairman of the National Council of University System Chief Academic Officers.

Charles and Hattie Wells Nash live in Tuscaloosa. Daughter, Kimberly Nash White, Ed.D. and son, Charles R. Nash, Jr., Master of Engineering, live in Hoover, AL with their families.

Immediate Past Chair (2024)
Joseph K. West
Partner and Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
Duane Morris LLP
Washington, DC

Joseph K. West is a partner in the trial group at Duane Morris, LLP. He also serves on the firm’s global management committee and serves as the firm's Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. He handles complex litigation matters and advises global companies on a wide array of matters. His client list includes major companies such as Walmart Stores Inc., Exxon Mobil, Chick-fil-A, Aon, and Dubai-based Al Ahli Holding Group. He has also acted as a trusted advisor to a number of individuals and entities in the sports and entertainment fields including Emeril Lagasse, Wendell Pierce, Laurence Fishburne, Norm Nixon, Bill Duke, Anthony Mackie, the late Lou Duva, and the Carolina Panthers.

Mr. West was formerly Associate General Counsel - Head of Outside Counsel Management at Walmart Stores Inc. where he was responsible for managing the company's relationships with its outside law firms worldwide, including oversight of over 600 law firms and a budget of over $300 million. He was also a member of Walmart’s Class Action – Complex Litigation Group wherein he helped manage a number of groundbreaking matters including the largest class action matter in U.S. history. Prior to Walmart, he was Associate General Counsel at Entergy Corporation wherein he had first-chair responsibility for a broad array of commercial, casualty and toxic tort matters he successfully handled to competing via bench and jury trials, and arbitrations.

A nationally recognized expert on diversity and inclusion, Mr. West previously served as CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), a national advocacy group that conducts research and training on corporate diversity and inclusion issues. He has lectured and written extensively on this issue and currently represents, trains, and advises numerous publicly traded companies, their boards, and CEOs on issues related to diversity and inclusion and the compliance, risk management, and corporate strategies associated with this important and growing area of concern. In 2019, he received the Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for Equity and Inclusion from Chambers & Partners. Mr. West is board cochair of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a member of the Board of Directors of the Black Entertainment and Sports Law Association (BESLA), and a member of the Board of Trustees of Xavier University of Louisiana. He was the third recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Delaware Barristers Association, following in the footsteps of prior recipients then-senator Joe Biden and former DuPont General Counsel Tom Sager. In October 2023, he was the recipient of the National Bar Association’s Champion of Diversity Award, the highest DEI specific award issued by the National Bar Association. In May 2024, Mr. West will be inducted into Tulane Law School 2024 Hall of Fame.

Mr. West was appointed by ABA President Paulette Brown to the ABA Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 360. He was a member of the ABA Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education and has served on the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He was also a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel's ACC Value Challenge Steering Committee and formerly served on the board of the Arts Council of New Orleans as well as the Walton Arts Center Corporate Leadership Council. Additionally, former Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco appointed him to chair the Louisiana State Museum Board.

He is a graduate of Tulane Law School and Southern University. He formerly served as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Tulane. He has lectured at the George Mason Antonin Scalia School of Law on corporate leadership and diversity and was recently retained by the school to help develop the first of its kind curriculum in corporate diversity and inclusion.

Members

Alicia Alvarez (2024)
Professor
University of Illinois Chicago School of  Law
Chicago, IL

Alicia Alvarez is a Professor of Law at UIC Law. From 2019-2022, she served as Associate Dean for Experiential Education. Before joining the University of Illinois Chicago in 2019, she was a Clinical Professor of Law and director of the Community and Economic Development Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School. She also taught in the Civil-Criminal Clinic at Michigan Law. Prior to joining Michigan Law, Prof. Alvarez taught at DePaul University College of Law, where she founded and directed the Community Development Clinic. She also co-founded and taught in the Asylum and Immigration Clinic, and taught in the Civil Litigation Clinic. Prof. Alvarez has been a visiting professor at Boston College Law School, the University of Valencia (Spain), and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of El Salvador.

Professor Alvarez served on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) from 2016 through 2019 and the Membership Review Committee from 2012-2015, chairing the Committee from 2013-2015. She also served on the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education. She has served on the board of directors of the Society of American Law Teachers. Before teaching she was a staff attorney at Impact for Equity (then Business and Professional People for the Public Interest) and Legal Aid Chicago.

David R. Anderson (2025)
President Emeritus
St. Olaf College
Northfield, MN
Public Member

David Anderson served as President of his alma mater, St. Olaf College, from 2006 to 2023. He earned his Ph.D. at Boston College, specializing in 18th-century British literature. He served on the faculties of St. Olaf College, Texas A&M University, and Florida Atlantic University, and served as Dean of the College at Luther College and as Provost at Denison University before becoming the 11th President of St. Olaf in 2006. His scholarly writings range from articles on theodicy in 18th-century literature to a book on the modern American detective novelist Rex Stout. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Higher Learning Commission 2010-2018 and as Chair of the Board from 2014-2016.

Steven C. Bahls (2024)
President Emeritus
Augustana College
Rock Island, IL

Steve Bahls was appointed president of Augustana College in 2003, recently retiring in July 2022. He graduated from Northwestern University School of Law, where he was the Head Executive Editor of the Northwestern University Law Review. Bahls was a shareholder in the law firm of Frisch, Dudek & Slattery, Ltd, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He joined the law faculty at the University of Montana in 1985, where he taught corporate and agricultural law and was appointed associate dean. He was the dean of Capital University Law School from 1994 to 2003. 

Bahls is currently a consultant for the Association of Governing Boards Consulting and a Senior Advisor for the Council of Independent Colleges where he directs the Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program. He is a member of the board of Trustees for the University of Montana Foundation.

President Emeritus Bahls regularly writes and speaks on a wide range of higher education topics, from assessment of student learning outcomes to shared governance in higher education. His writings have been published as books chapters and in numerous scholarly law journals, trade publications, popular publications, and blogs. He is the author of the book, Shared Governance for Agile Institutions: A Practical Guide for Universities and Colleges, published by the Association of Governing Boards Press.

He chaired the Student Learning Outcomes Subcommittee of the Section’s Standards Review Committee and served on the Section’s Accreditation Committee and Bar Admissions Committee. He also served as a member of Council of the American Bar Association General Practice Section. He was the co-founder of the AALS Section on Part-Time Division Programs, chair of the AALS Section of Agricultural Law, founding dean of the Dave Thomas Center for Adoption Law (now the National Center for Adoption Law and Policy), president of the American Agricultural Law Association, chair of the Federation of Illinois Independent Colleges and Universities, co-chair of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Joint Commission on the Education of Lawyers, and a member of the University of Montana School of Law Board of Visitors.

Josephine M. Bahn (2025)
Associate
Cozen O’Connor
Washington, DC

Josephine (Jo) focuses her practice on commercial litigation and construction law. She counsels real estate developers, project owners, contractors, and design professionals in all phases of the construction process. Jo’s practice includes public and private projects as well as bid protests throughout the United States. She also regularly handles claims related to mechanics’ liens on projects. Jo has wide-ranging experience litigating construction defect claims including stucco and other water intrusion claims. She has litigated in a wide range of forums, including state, federal, and administrative forums as well as various boards of contract appeals.

Prior to joining the firm, she was a senior attorney in the enforcement section of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). There, Jo focused on banking laws and regulations, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Federal Housing Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. She managed, investigated, and developed legal strategy for 10c enforcement litigation matters and investigations involving deceptive and unfair practices to consumers and fraud or other risk-related harm to FDIC insured institutions. She worked with the FDIC’s seven regional offices and examiners in the FDIC’s Division of Consumer Protection and Risk Management Supervision. She developed methods to streamline pleadings related to 10c investigations and other consumer related enforcement documents. Through the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI), Jo provided advice to the FDIC chairman on diversity and inclusion concerns. She developed and implemented OMWI activities that addressed cultural diversity, differences, similarities, and contributions of the FDIC’s workforce. Prior to joining the enforcement section, she served as an honors attorney, detailed in 7, 12- week rotational placements within the FDIC Legal Division Section, including the Dallas and Chicago offices.

Before joining the FDIC, Jo served as a federal judicial law clerk for the Honorable Joel H. Slomsky, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania during the 2016-2017 term.

Jo earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s University. While earning her bachelor’s degree, she was an intern for the John Kluge Center for Research at the Library of Congress and an intern for Inese Vaidere, member of European Parliament (Latvia), European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. Jo earned her law degree from New York Law School. While in law school, Jo was an intern for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. and New York City and the Honorable Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr., U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.

Outside of her legal practice, Jo is very involved in civic, charitable, bar, and community organizations. She has served as a law student member of the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, was recently named chair elect of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD), and will serve as the national YLD chair beginning in August 2022.

Mary Lu Bilek (2025)
Dean (Retired)
The City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law
Long Island City, New York



Mary Lu Bilek served as dean of CUNY School of Law from 2016 until her retirement in 2021. Under her leadership, the Law School was named “the premier public interest law school in the country” and topped the list of “the most diverse law schools in the country.” Having joined the faculty shortly after the school opened, Bilek served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for three deans and is credited with leadership in moving the school to accreditation, developing and implementing CUNY Law’s innovative curriculum, spearheading programs that increased the diversity of the Law School and the profession, and supporting the development of programs to address the justice gap.

Bilek served as dean of the University of Massachusetts School of Law from 2012-2016, charged to lead the Commonwealth’s new public law school to accreditation. Under her leadership, UMass Law saw a rise in applications and academic credentials, as well as an increase in student diversity.

Bilek has served on the Section’s Council since 2019, served on the ABA Special Committee on the Professional Education Continuum, chaired the Section on Legal Education Diversity Committee, and has served on many ABA Site Visit Teams, chairing several. She regularly participates on the faculty of the Site Visit Team and Chair Workshops and has served on the faculty of the New Deans’ Workshop. She has served on the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission and the Boards of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the National Center for Economic Justice, and CALI. She is a member of the NYC Bar’s Council on the Profession and the Task Force on Right to Counsel.

Named as one of the “Most Influential People in Legal Education” by National Jurist in 2016, Bilek graduated summa cum laude from St. Mary’s College and cum laude from Harvard Law School

Thomas C. Galligan Jr. (2025)
President Emeritus, LSU
Professor, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center
Baton Rouge, LA

Thomas C. Galligan Jr. is a law professor at LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. He holds the Dodson and Hooks Endowed Chair in Maritime Law and the James Huntington and Patricia Kleinpeter Odom Professorship of Law. He teaches and writes about Torts, Admiralty, and Constitutional Law. From January 1, 2020-July 5, 2021, Galligan served as LSU President (originally, he was named Interim President, but the Board of Supervisors later retroactively removed the Interim title). As president, Galligan was both the chief executive of LSU’s eight campuses and leader of the university’s flagship campus in Baton Rouge. He now holds the rank of President Emeritus.

From 2016-2019, Galligan was the Dean of LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center. From 2006 to 2016, Galligan served as the President of Colby-Sawyer College, a private liberal arts based college in New London, New Hampshire. Galligan also held a faculty position and regularly taught.

Prior to leading Colby-Sawyer, Galligan served as Dean of the University of Tennessee’s College of Law from 1998 to 2006. He started his academic career at LSU in 1986 as a Professor of Law. During his first tenure at the university, students named him the “Outstanding LSU Professor” six times. From 1995-1998, he also served as the Executive Director of the Louisiana Judicial College.

Galligan served as a member (2007-2015) and as chair of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar Accreditation Committee (2013-2015). He has been a member of and chaired several site evaluation teams for the ABA and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Galligan is a frequent continuing legal education speaker on his areas of expertise, having given more than 250 speeches and presentations to judges, lawyers, and others about Torts, Admiralty, Complex Litigation, Professionalism, and more. In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, he testified three times before congressional committees considering amendments to the Death on the High Seas Act and other applicable maritime statutes.

His scholarship has been cited by numerous courts including the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, various United States District Courts, the Louisiana Supreme Court, and various State Appellate Courts.

He holds an A.B. in Political Science from Stanford University, a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law where he graduated summa cum laude and first in his class, and an LL.M. from the Columbia University Law School.

Galligan resides in Baton Rouge with his wife Susan. 

Melissa Hart (2026)
Justice
Colorado Supreme Court
Denver, CO

Justice Melissa Hart has served on the Colorado Supreme Court since 2017.  An active member of the Colorado legal community, she is the court’s liaison to the Colorado Access to Justice Commission, the Pathways to Access Standing Committee, the Standing Committee on Family Issues, and the Ralph Carr Judicial Learning Center.  Justice Hart also serves as a member of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar and an Adviser to the American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law, High-Volume Civil Adjudication project.  She is a member of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association Foundation Board and was a founding Board member of Legal Entrepreneurs for Justice (Colorado’s affordable law practice incubator) and of the Sonia Sotomayor Inn of Court.  In addition to her role at the court, Justice Hart is an adjunct professor at both the University of Colorado Law School and the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law.

Prior to joining the Court, Justice Hart was a professor at the University of Colorado Law School, where she directed the Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law.  Throughout her years as a professor, Justice Hart maintained an active pro bono practice, writing amicus briefs in appellate courts and representing clients through Metro Volunteer Lawyers.  Her teaching and scholarship focused on access to justice, constitutional law, judicial decision making, legal ethics, employment discrimination, and civil procedure. 

Justice Hart grew up in Denver, graduating from East High School.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard-Radcliffe College, spent a year teaching at a high school in Athens, Greece, then returned to Harvard for law school.  At Harvard Law, she was the Articles Editor for the Harvard Law Review and Book Review Editor for the Harvard Women’s Law Journal. After graduating in 1995, she clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court.  Following her clerkships, she practiced law for several years in Washington, D.C., including as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Justice Hart and her husband, Kevin Traskos, have two children and two dogs.

Nathan L. Hecht (2026)
Chief Justice
Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

Nathan L. Hecht is the 27th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. He has been elected to the Court seven times, first in 1988 as a Justice, and in 2014 and 2020 as Chief Justice. He is the longest-serving Member of the Court in Texas history and the longest-tenured Texas judge in active service. Throughout his service on the Court, he has overseen revisions to the rules of administration, practice, and procedure in Texas courts, and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to the federal Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. He is also active in the Court's efforts to assure that Texans living below the poverty level, as well as others with limited means, have access to basic civil legal services.

Chief Justice Hecht was appointed to the district court in 1981 and was elected to the court of appeals in 1986. Before taking the bench, he was a partner in the Locke firm in Dallas. He holds a B.A. degree with honors in philosophy from Yale University, and a J.D. degree cum laude from the SMU School of Law, where he was a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar. He clerked for Judge Roger Robb on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps. He is a Past President of the National Conference of Chief Justices, a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Life Member of the American Law Institute and a member of Council, and a member of the Texas Philosophical Society.

He won re-election in November 2020 to a term that ends December 31, 2026.

José Roberto (Beto) Juárez Jr. (2026)
Dean
Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law
Davie, FL

José Roberto (Beto) Juárez Jr. is dean of NSU Shepard Broad College of Law. Dean Juárez serves as the chief academic and administrative officer of the college of law. Prior to joining NSU Law in 2020, Dean Juárez was a tenured professor of law and director of the Lawyering in Spanish program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He served as dean of Denver Law from 2006 to 2009. Prior to 2006, Dean Juárez was associate dean for academic and student affairs and professor of law at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. His research interests include employment discrimination, language rights, legal history, race, and religion and the law; and he has published extensively, presenting his work throughout the United States and Mexico.

Dean Juárez earned an A.B. degree in History from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1981. Dean Juárez co-founded the Deans’ Diversity Council and the non-profit organization spun off from the Council: The Center for Legal Inclusiveness. He chaired the Board of Directors of the Journal of Law and Religion, and its successor, the Council on Religion and the Law, and served on these boards from 2002 - 2020. He also served two terms as Co-President of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), one of the largest organizations of law professors in the United States.

Dean Juárez has served as a member of site teams investigating law schools as part of the accreditation process, often also serving as the reporter for the American Association of Law Schools.

Susan L. Kay (2026)
Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Clinical Professor of Law
Vanderbilt University Law School
Nashville, TN

Susan L. Kay is the Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Clinical Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University Law School, having joined the clinical faculty in 1980. In addition to teaching in the Criminal Practice Clinic, she supervises the Trial Advocacy courses and teaches courses on Criminal Law and Evidence. Within the clinic, she has conducted major public law litigation concerning jail overcrowding, inmates’ rights, and juvenile justice. She recently served as a member of the Tennessee Supreme Court's Indigent Representation Task Force. In 2007, she completed an assignment as a court appointed monitor in federal litigation challenging the state’s compliance with its responsibilities to children enrolled in the TennCare program. In 2005, she was co-reporter with on the Tennessee Bar Association Criminal Justice Section's study of effectiveness of counsel in death penalty cases.

Professor Kay is active in many professional and service activities and has served as president of the Clinical Legal Education Association, a national association that represents more than 600 law faculty, and as president of the board of the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, and the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. From 2009-19, she chaired the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee. She is a former member of the Accreditation Committee and Standards Review Committee of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar. She is a fellow of the Nashville Bar and the Tennessee Bar, and in 2019, received the A.C.L.U. of Tennessee’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Professor Kay holds a B.A. from Williams College and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School.

Daniel T. Madzelan (2026)
Senior Fellow
American Council on Education
Washington, DC
Public Member

Daniel T. Madzelan is a Senior Fellow at the American Council on Education. He joined ACE in 2014 as associate vice president for Government Relations. In that role, Madzelan helped advance ACE’s advocacy on behalf of the higher education community, particularly the array of federal policies and issues critical to the missions of American colleges and universities and the students they serve.

From 2009–10, Madzelan served as acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education, where he was charged with primary responsibility for administering a $2.6 billion program budget providing financial support to colleges and universities and their students, and had policy and program budget responsibility for the Title IV student financial aid programs that provided nearly $130 billion in grant, loan and work-study assistance to more than 14 million postsecondary students and their families. Previously, he was a longtime director of the forecasting and policy analysis service in the department’s office of postsecondary education. He worked in a number of capacities in that office before becoming a director.

Madzelan is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with a concentration in mathematics and statistics.

Scott B. Pagel (2026)
Associate Dean for Information Services and Professor
The George Washington University Law School
Washington, DC

Scott B. Pagel is a Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Information Services at the George Washington University Law School. Before joining the George Washington University in 1993, he was the Director of the Law Library and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma Law School, and prior to that served as the Assistant Law Librarian for Public Services at the Columbia University Law School. He earned his J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.A.L.S. from the University of Michigan.

Dean Pagel previously served for 6 years on the Accreditation Committee of the Section of Legal Education & Admissions to the Bar (2006-2012) and 6 years on the Standards Review Committee of the Section (2012-2018, Chair 2014-2016). He also has been active in the Association of American Law Schools and the American Association of Law Libraries, and is a frequent presenter at legal education conferences.

Dean Pagel is the editor or co-editor of three books on legal research and law library management, and the author of numerous articles on that have appeared in Law Library Journal, Legal Reference Services Quarterly, and Trends in Law Library Management and Technology.

Carla D. Pratt (2024)
Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Chair in Civil Rights, Race, and Justice in the Law
University of Oklahoma College of Law
Norman, OK

Carla D. Pratt serves as the inaugural Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Chair in Civil Rights, Race and Justice in Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Prior to joining OU, she served as Dean at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas and prior to her deanship she served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Nancy J. LaMont Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law at Penn State Dickinson Law.

Throughout her time in legal academia, Professor Pratt has served the legal profession and the greater community. From March 2012 to March 2018, she served as an Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Fort Yates, North Dakota hearing cases that presented a constitutional question under the United States Constitution or the Standing Rock Sioux Constitution. While living in Kansas, she served as a member of the Kansas Advisory Committee to the U.S Commission on Civil Rights.

Professor Pratt’s published work in the area of constitutional law has focused on the Equal Protection Clause and balancing civil rights and civil liberties. Her scholarly inquiry also extends to understanding the role of identity in law and legal institutions.  She has been published in top law journals and the popular press including the NY Times.

Professor Pratt has been honored for her advocacy seeking to make the legal profession reflect the population that it serves, including national recognition with the Association of American Law Schools’ Impact Award, for impact on legal education, the Society of American Law Teachers’ Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award, and The John Mercer Langston Legal Education Leadership Award.

Prior to entering legal academia, Professor Pratt engaged in the private practice of law as a commercial litigator with the law firm of Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP in Philadelphia and served as a Deputy Attorney General in New Jersey. She is a member of the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Barbara A. Sestak (2024)
Professor of Architecture
Portland State University
Portland, OR
Public Member

Barbara A. Sestak, FAIA is a Professor of Architecture at Portland State University with over 30 years of experience in teaching, research, and administration. Her teaching encompasses design studios, building technology, structures, environmental design, leadership, and designing for wellness. Her research encompasses the integration of the profession with the academy and how the built environment impacts health. Barbara served in several administrative roles including Associate Vice Provost for Sponsored Research and became the first Dean of the College of the Arts with a School of Architecture, a School of Art + Design, a School of Music, and a School of Theatre. She oversaw the development of a first professional accredited Master of Architecture degree, a program in film and two major building renovations.

Before joining PSU, Barbara worked in architectural offices in Seattle and Portland. Her architectural work consisted primarily of multi-family housing projects including a 250-acre Planned Unit Development, commercial, and industrial projects. She was AIA Portland’s first woman president, served twelve years on the Oregon Board of Architect Examiners, on several National Council of Architectural Registration Boards committees including Practice Analysis, Intern Development Program, and Architect Registration Examination, and served on fifteen National Architectural Accrediting Board team visits including three international visits. She served for four years on the NAAB Board of Directors including terms as Past-President, President, and President-elect. She also served on a variety of committees and was instrumental in the development of the 2020 NAAB Conditions and Procedures for Accreditation. In 2017 Barbara was awarded the AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Medal of Honor.

Adrien K. Wing (2024)
Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Programs and Professor
University of Iowa College of Law
Iowa City, IA

Adrien Katherine Wing is the Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Programs and the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, where she has taught since 1987. Additionally, she serves as the Director of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, as well as Director of the France Summer Abroad Program. She currently teaches Sex Discrimination Law, Critical Race Theory, and Law in the Muslim World. Author of more than 150 publications, Wing is the editor of Critical Race Feminism: A Reader and Global Critical Race Feminism: An International Reader, both from NYU Press. She is  co-editor of the Richard Delgado Reader  and Family Law and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa: Change and Stasis since the Arab Spring. She is a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and a member of the American Law Institute.

Wing has been very active with various organizations. Her ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar service includes six years on the Accreditation Committee and participating on over  twenty accreditation teams. She currently serves on the International Law Student Association Board of Directors, Blacks of the American Society of International Law Task Force (co-founder), and Princeton Class of 78 Executive Committee. Her activities have also included: American Society of International Law Vice President, Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Minority Section Chair, AALS Membership Review Committee Chair, AALS Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Professors Committee member, Stanford Law School Board of Visitors member, and Association of Black Princeton Alumni Board member.

Wing’s many honors include the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence (Iowa), AALS Minority Section Clyde Ferguson Award, University of Iowa Distinguished Achievement Award, Princeton Class of 1978 Service Award, and Newark Academy (NJ) Distinguished Alumni Award.

After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton magna cum laude in 1978, Wing earned her Master of Arts degree in African studies from UCLA in 1979. She obtained her Doctorate of Jurisprudence degree from Stanford Law School in 1982. Prior to joining the College of Law faculty, she spent five years in practice in New York City with Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, and with Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman.

Section Representatives to the ABA House of Delegates

Antonio García-Padilla (2024)
Dean Emeritus and Professor
University of Puerto Rico School of Law
San Juan, PR


Before becoming the eighth president of the University of Puerto Rico in November 2001, Antonio García-Padilla had been dean of the school of law for 15 years. He is the president of the Puerto Rico Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation. Earlier in his career he served as law clerk to Judge Stephen G. Breyer, now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, then serving as a circuit judge in the Federal Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and to Justice Angel M. Martín of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico.

Dean García-Padilla has served on the Section’s Accreditation Committee and Council. He has also served as a member of the council of the American Law Institute. Dean García-Padilla received his law degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law in 1978 and a master’s in law from Yale Law School in 1981.

Leo P. Martinez (2026)
Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus
University of California College of the Law, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Leo Martinez is Dean Emeritus and Albert Abramson Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of California College of Law San Francisco (formerly Hastings College of the Law). He is currently a Managing Director of Andersen, the tax and financial services firm.

Professor Martinez is the immediate past Chair of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. He is a past President of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). He has chaired or served on more than thirty law school site evaluation visits and he has assisted more than a dozen law schools in their strategic planning. He is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI), he was one of the academic advisers on the ALI’s Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance project, and he was a member of the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education that issued its final report in 2014. He received Public Advocates’ Voices of Conscience Award in 2011, he was elected an honorary fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel in 2017, and he was presented with the Visionary Award by the then UC Hastings Board of Directors in 2018.

Outside of academia, Professor Martinez has been an active participant in local and national non-profit organizations that seek to improve the world. He has chaired the boards of five different non-profit organizations including KQED, Inc., Public Advocates, Inc., the St. Francis Hospital Foundation, Public Media Company, and, most recently, the Public Media Venture Group (a consortium of more than 25 public television stations). His past affiliations include a 14-year stint on the Access Group (now AccessLex) board of directors, a 10-year term as a member of the board of CollegeTrack, a Bay Area-based organization that provides mentoring for high school students living in low-income and underserved areas, and a 6-year term as a member of the University of Kansas Chancellor’s Advisory Board.

Professor Martinez has lectured extensively on legal education and on his chosen fields of tax and insurance law throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. He is a co-author of a leading insurance law casebook now in its ninth edition, a co-editor of a four-volume insurance treatise, and the author of many articles on tax, insurance law, and legal education that have appeared in journals including the Stanford Law Review, Tulane Law Review, Rutgers Law Review, Yale Law and Policy Review, China EU Law Journal, ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Journal, and Global Jurist.

Law Student Member

Jehan Senai Worthy (2024)
University of Massachusetts School of Law
JD Expected May 2024
Dartmouth, MA

Jehan is a rising 3L at the University of Massachusetts School of Law in Dartmouth, MA, where she has served as the Alumni Association Representative on SBA, Student Ambassador, Legal Skills, and Civil Procedure Teaching Assistant, among other roles. Before law school, Jehan earned her Master of Arts in Teaching History Degree from Bard College and her bachelor’s degree from Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Jehan has about ten years of experience teaching and mentoring students of all ages, from elementary school to college students, and she cannot wait to serve as the Director of Legal Education for the Law Student Division, for she is passionate about education and has an unquenching desire to support her peers.

The election of Council officers and members took place during the Section’s Annual Business Meeting, Friday, August 4, 2023. 

One or more additional nominations may be made for any designated seat on the Council, including officers of the Council (except Chairperson and Immediate Past Chairperson), by petition signed by not less than 50 members of the Section in good standing, not more than 10 of whom are residents of any one state. A person so nominated shall be called the "petitioner". The petition shall specify which nominee the petitioner is challenging and shall state that the petitioner has agreed to the nomination and meets the criteria for the position being sought. The petition shall be delivered in person or by mail to the Section Office at the Association headquarters and must be received no later than July 15. The Secretary shall thereupon confirm that such individual is eligible to serve if elected. If additional nominations are made, the Chairperson shall distribute to the membership a final notice of nominations as soon as practical, but no later than July 22.

Board of Governors Liaison

Maureen A. O’Rourke (2024)
Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs
Boston University Office of the Provost
Boston, MA

Young Lawyers Division Liaison

S. Collins Saint
Associate
Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey
& Leonard, LLP
Greensboro, NC

Council Committees

View a list of Council Committee members