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JD-Next Advisory Board
Daniel B. Rodriguez

Harold Washington Professor of Law
Northwestern University, Pritzker School of Law

Daniel B. Rodriguez, the Harold Washington Professor at the Law School, served as dean of the Law School from January 2012 through August 2018.

His principal academic work is in the areas of administrative law, local government law, statutory interpretation, federal and state constitutional law, and the law-business-technology interface.

Formerly, Professor Rodriguez served as Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law at the University of Texas-Austin; as a Research Fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy; as Dean and Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law; and, as a Professor of Law at University of California, Berkeley School of Law. He has also served as a visiting professor at several top law schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, University of Southern California, and Virginia.

Rodriguez received his law degree, with honors, from Harvard Law School and his undergraduate degree from California State University of Long Beach.

BarbaraKaye Wright

Assistant Dean for Admissions
Creighton University School of Law

BarbaraKaye Miller is the Assistant Dean of Admissions at Creighton University School of Law. For the last 17 years, she has worked in academia. She started with Creighton University School of Law in May of 2017. Prior to Creighton Law, she served as both the Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, and the Assistant Dean of Admissions, Financial Aid and Graduate Programs at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (ASU). Prior to ASU, she served as the Dean of Admissions at Phoenix School of Law. She received her B.A. in American Studies at the University of Iowa in 1987 and her J.D. at the University of Iowa College of Law in 1990. Prior to working in academia, she spent 17 years in Ohio practicing law in a variety of areas. She started out practicing Commercial Litigation and Employment Law with a large law firm in Ohio, Fuller & Henry. She then went on to clerk for United States District Court (Northern District of Ohio) Judge John W. Potter. Afterwards, she served as a Lucas County Assistant Prosecutor working in both the Criminal and Juvenile Divisions, where she tried over 100 cases with a 98% conviction rate. While working as an Assistant Prosecutor, she also taught law-related courses at Lourdes College. She has been a Partner at both Wise People Management Consulting Firm, and Ryan, Wise, Miller and Dorner, where she did Employment Law and Litigation. After practicing law in Ohio, she later moved to Houston, Texas and served as Vice President of LegalWATCH, Inc., a Preventive Law Consulting Firm, before turning to academia.

She is the mother of two sons: one graduated from Swarthmore University with degrees in Engineering and Economics. He is also a former Fulbright Scholar who did research in Korea on wearable technologies. The other is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in Computer Science and minor in Applied Mathematics.

She spends her free time playing too much Sudoku and Mahjong, and with her dog, Caesar.

Carly Gardner 

Director of Admissions
Widener University, Delaware Law

Carly Gardner is the Director for Admissions at Widener University Delaware Law School in Wilmington, DE. In her current role, Carly provides strategic leadership to the J.D. admissions team and plays an integral role in all aspects of the enrollment management process.

Prior to joining the Delaware Law Admissions Office, Carly spent several years in private practice focused on commercial litigation matters. Carly worked as an associate attorney for Margolis Edelstein from 2014-2015; a practice attorney for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP from 2015-2017; and an associate attorney for Orphanides & Toner, LLP from 2017-2018. In addition to her current work in law school admissions, Carly serves as a volunteer attorney for the Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia. She also serves as a member of the Widener University Staff Council and was elected to serve as Chair for the 2024-2026 term.

Carly earned her J.D. from Delaware Law School, where she served as a staff member for theWidener Law Review and was a student intern for the Delaware Law Veterans Law Clinic. During law school, Carly also served as a judicial clerk and then judicial fellow to the Honorable Marlene F. Lachman in the First Judicial District of PA Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. Before attending law school, Carly graduatedmagna cum laude from Washington College in Chestertown, MD.

Cary Lee Cluck

Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid
University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law

David Yellen

Dean, School of Law

M. Minnette Massey Professor of Law
University of Miami School of Law

David Yellen became Dean and M. Minnette Massey Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law on July 1, 2022. This is Yellen’s third deanship. He served as Dean and Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law from 2005-2016. During this time Loyola was recognized as one of the most innovative law schools in the country. He was frequently included on National Jurist magazine’s list of the 25 Most Influential People in Legal Education. Yellen was previously a faculty member at Hofstra Law School, where he held the Max Schmertz Distinguished Professorship and served as Dean from 2001-2004. He has also been the Reuschlein Distinguished Visiting Professor at Villanova University School of Law and twice served as a visiting professor at Cornell Law School.

Dean Yellen’s major area of academic expertise is criminal law, particularly sentencing and juvenile justice. He has written widely about the federal sentencing guidelines, testified before the United States Sentencing Commission, advised President Clinton's transition team on white collar crime enforcement, and argued a federal sentencing case before the United States Supreme Court. He was also appointed as Special Master by the Presiding Judge of the Cook County Criminal Court to investigate claims of torture committed by a Chicago Police Commander.

Yellen previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, located at the University of Denver, from 2021-2022. IAALS is a national, independent research center which works to improve access to justice and the effectiveness of the civil justice system. From 2016-2019 was President of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. Before beginning his academic career, Dean Yellen clerked for a federal judge, practiced law in Washington, D.C., and served as counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. He graduated from Princeton University and Cornell Law School.

Joan Howarth

Distinguished Visting Professor of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Law

Dean Emerita, Michigan State University College of Law

Joan Howarth served as dean of the Michigan State University Law College from 2008-2016. Prior to her deanship, she was a professor here at the Boyd School of Law since 2001. She was named William S. Boyd Professor of Law in 2003 and was instrumental in building the law school, having served for four years as associate dean and helped to establish Boyd's early and strong national reputation.

She began her career as a law professor in 1989 after stints with California's Office of the State Public Defender and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. She has been a faculty member at the Golden Gate University School of Law and a visiting professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, UC Hastings College of Law, and UC Davis School of Law.

Most recently she is teaching courses on Torts and Advanced Torts. Her scholarship focuses on attorney licensing; legal education; LGBT legal history; and capital punishment, especially as related to gender and sexuality.

She is a leader in legal education through work with the Association of American Law Schools, the American Bar Association, and the Society of American Law Teachers.

Jorge García

Assistant Dean of Admissions, Financial Aid and Campus Diversity
California Western School of Law

Jorge Garcia joined California Western School of Law in July 2021 as Assistant Dean of Admissions, Financial Aid & Campus Diversity.  Jorge graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in economics and subsequently earned an MBA at CSU San Marcos.  Dean Garcia has 18 years of law school admissions experience as well as 29 years administering financial aid to undergraduate and law school students.  Prior to joining California Western School of Law, Dean Garcia served as Director and Asst. Dean of Admissions, Financial Aid and Diversity Initiatives at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Included in Jorge’s responsibilities at California Western School of Law are leading the marketing, recruitment and admission efforts; the awarding of scholarships to the entering class; providing leadership to the Financial Aid Office; and leading the Law School in its diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and efforts.

Dean Garcia has presented at regional and national conferences on several topics including financing a legal education, diversity in legal education and on supporting DACA/undocumented students through law school.   Dean Garcia has been active with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) on a variety of committee and work groups including Services and Programs; Newcomers Planning Work Group; Emerging Markets and Innovation Committee; Finance and Budget Committee; and Audit Committee.  Additionally, Dean Garcia currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the LSAC.

Karen Wellman

Assistant Clinical Professor of Law
University of Idaho College of Law

Since 2020, Karen Wellman has been an assistant clinical professor at the University of Idaho College of Law (Moscow).   She was the first faculty member hired to focus on academic and bar success.  Among other responsibilities, she teaches Academic Skills Lab I and II to first-year students and Applied Legal Reasoning (bar preparation) to students in their last semester.   Her law school service includes being vice chair of the Diversity & Human Rights Committee.  Karen has been an active member of the Association of Academic Support Educators where she served as a member of the executive board (annual conference host school representative) and the program committee. 

Karen received her law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law and her bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Brandeis University.   Before joining the faculty at the University of Idaho, Karen worked in legal publishing at LexisNexis and Wolters Kluwer where she collaborated with law school faculty on curriculum and legal pedagogy to support student success in law school and on the bar exam.  She taught Legal Writing & Analysis for LL.M. students as an adjunct at Berkeley.  Karen also worked at a major law firm in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco,  the Divisions of Enforcement and Market Regulation at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Pacific Exchange.    Her pro bono work has focused on immigration clients in deportation proceedings.  Karen is an inactive member of the California bar. 

Katrin Hussmann Schroll

Associate Dean of Admissions, Enrollment Management & Financial Aid
University of Miami School of Law

Katrin Hussmann Schroll is the Associate Dean of admissions, enrollment management, and financial aid at the University of Miami School of Law. In this role, Dean Schroll provides strategic leadership, policy direction, and operational oversight for the J.D. and LL.M. programs related to Admissions, Institutional Aid, Enrollment Management, and Admissions Marketing and Advertising. She also serves as the School of Law’s liaison to the University’s Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment and 'Canes Central.

Dean Schroll is actively involved with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), serving on the Schools and Candidates Committee. In the past, Dean Schroll has served as a member of LSAC's Board of Trustees, chaired the Schools and Candidates Committee, chaired the Misconduct and Irregularities in the Admission Process Subcommittee, and served as a member of the Audit Committee, Information Services Division Advisory Group, Annual Meeting Planning Work Group, the Newcomers Work Group, National Recruitment Workgroup, and Graduate Programs Workgroup. She has served on the planning committee for the Annual Meeting of Law School Diversity Professionals, the Maryland State Bar Association’s MYLAW Law & Leadership Institute Committee, and the Board of Directors for the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association. She has also served as an evaluator of scholarship applicants for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and the Schwarzman Scholars Program. Dean Schroll previously served as the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Enrollment Management at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. In addition to her responsibilities as Assistant Dean, she worked with students and clients in the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. She taught legal writing and constitutional law at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.

Dean Schroll is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. She earned her J.D. from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, where she was a Leadership Scholar and received awards for her advocacy on behalf of clients in the Immigration Law Clinic. Before attending law school, she graduated summa cum laude from Florida International University in Miami, Florida, where she earned a B.A. in Economics. Dean Schroll spent her early years in Venezuela but relocated to the United States as a high school freshman. 

Luke Bierman

Professor of Law and Dean Emeritx
Elon University School of Law

Since June 1, 2014, Luke Bierman has served as dean and professor of law at Elon University School of Law. Since then, Dean Bierman has led the law school in adopting a unique and innovative curriculum that integrates traditional classroom instruction with highly experiential components. This logically sequenced course of preparation, including a course connected full time residency-in-practice and other focused support, provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and professionalism to excel as 21st century attorneys in a curriculum that is 2½ years and with 20 percent lower tuition than the average tuition at a private law school.

Before joining Elon Law, Dean Bierman was associate dean for experiential education and distinguished professor of the practice of law at Northeastern University School of Law. He previously served as general counsel for the Office of the New York State Comptroller from 2007 to 2010, was executive director of the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University where he held the rank of associate professor of political science, founded the Justice Center and directed the Judicial Division at the American Bar Association, and served as chief attorney for the Appellate Division, Third Department, of the New York Supreme Court in Albany where he also clerked for the court’s presiding justice and an associate justice.

Bierman’s legal scholarship, focusing on judicial selection, justice system reform, state constitutional law and ethics, has been published in a variety of national law reviews. His legal analysis and commentary on legal education as well as ethics have been published in The New York TimesWashington PostAlbany Times-Union, National Public Radio, Greensboro News and RecordRaleigh News & Observer, WRAL-TV, UNC-TV, Huffington Post, National Law JournalNew York Law Journal and other national and regional news media. Bierman has taught at Albany Law School, where he was a Fellow in Government Law and Policy at the Government Law Center, and at North Carolina State University, Northwestern University School of Law, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Trinity College and the University at Albany.

Bierman served as an advisory board member for Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, an initiative of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver and now is a member of the national advisory board for The Richard Stockton University William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy. He has been a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Working Group on Professionalism; the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Task Force on Code of Judicial Conduct; the New York State Bar Association Committee on Attorneys in Public Service; the NYC Bar Association Task Force on Town and Village Courts; and as a board of directors member for the Justice at Stake Campaign, Inc.; the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform; and the American Judicature Society.

Bierman is admitted to practice law in New York State, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York and the Supreme Court of the United States. His early legal practice experience includes service as a research attorney for the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly and as an associate in the law firm of Fitzpatrick, Trombley, Owens & Lahtinen, P.C., in Plattsburgh, N.Y. In addition, Bierman has provided professional consulting to several law firms, economic development and strategic planning agencies, regulatory bodies and foundations. He is a member of the American Bar Association where he served on the ABA President’s Legal Access JobCorps Task Force and the Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education. He currently serves on the North Carolina Chief Justice’s Commission on Professiona was a member of the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice. Bierman is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Marsha Griggs

Associate Professor
Saint Louis University School of Law

Professor Griggs is a coauthor of the white paper, The Bar Exam and the COVID Pandemic: The Need for Immediate Action, that launched efforts to identify methods to safely license new attorneys when in-person exams posed health risks in the United States and abroad. Her other works, "Building a Better Bar Exam" and "An Epic Fail," are published in the Texas A&M Law Review and Howard Law Journal.

 In 2021, she received the Trailblazer Award from the AALS Section on Academic Support.

Professor Griggs is admitted to practice in Colorado and Texas. Before law teaching, she practiced commercial litigation and was inducted into the Texas Jury Verdicts Hall of Fame in 2014. She chairs the Bar Advocacy Committee for the Association of Academic Support Educators that, through her leadership, introduced the Best Practices for Online Bar Exam Administration. She has been elected to serve on the executive boards for the AALS Section on Academic Support and the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT).

Maya Russell

Pre-Law Advisor
Furman University

Maya Russell serves as the Pre-Law Advisor in the Office of Pre-Professional Advising. She is Advisor to Furman’s Pre-Law Society and currently serves as Co-President of Quaternion Senior Order. Additionally, Maya holds several national level positions, currently serving as Chair of the Pre-Law Advisor National Council (PLANC), President of the Southern Association of Pre-Law Advisors (SAPLA), and as Co-Chair for the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Pre-Law Education and Admission to Law School Pre-Law Advisor Committee. She also serves on the pre-law advisory committees for AccessLex and JD Next.

Maya received her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law, M.A. from the University of Montana, and B.A. from New York University. Prior to joining Furman, Maya served as an attorney for the United States District Court for the Districts of Wyoming and South Carolina. She has served as a faculty member at Casper College and at the University of Wyoming-Casper where she taught courses including American Government, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Law of Evidence, and Politics and Judicial Process. Maya is licensed to practice law in Washington State, Colorado, and Wyoming. She met her husband, Brook Russell (a statistician at Clemson University), in her hometown of Perth, Western Australia.

Paul D. Paton

Dean of the Fowler School of Law
Chapman University, Fowler School of Law

Dean Paul D. Paton is a widely published and noted scholar of law and ethics. He has served as a visiting scholar at the American Bar Foundation, as interim CEO of the Canadian Bar Association, and has served on committees, working groups and boards for the American and Canadian bar associations, Arizona Supreme Court, Law School Admission Council Board of Trustees and Canada-U.S. Fulbright Awards.

Before joining the faculty of Chapman University in 2023, Dean Paton served as both a professor and a university administrator in the United States and Canada and has helped lead legal organizations in both countries, notably as the Thomas W. Lawlor QC Professor of Law & Ethics and Dean of Law for the University of Alberta, as well as professor of law of the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, where he also served as the University of the Pacific’s first vice provost.

Wendy Vonnegut

Director, Legal Studies Program

Professor of Legal Studies
Methodist University

Wendy Vonnegut is an Associate professor and Director of the Legal Studies Program at Methodist University. She is the Prelaw Advisor for the University. She has served as the Chair of the Conflict Resolution Committee, and is an academic advisor. She currently serves on the Tenure and Promotion Committee.

Mrs. Vonnegut teaches Business Ethics for the MBA program for Webster University, as well as Negotiations, Procurement and Acquisition Law. Mrs. Vonnegut has also been member of the faculty for the MBA program at Methodist University, teaching Ethics and Corporate Responsibility as well as Business Law.

Mrs. Vonnegut has been an active member of the Fayetteville community, and is a member of  the Board of Directors for the Child Advocacy Center, Legal Aid of Cumberland County, and is a Teen Court Judge. She is a member of the Board of Visitors for Campbell University School of Law. She was one of the 2014 Honorees for Women of Justice Awards given by Lawyers Weekly. She recently received the National Dean Gerald Wilson Award for excellence in prelaw advising.