Syverud elected chair-elect of ABA Section on Legal Education

Kent D. Syverud, JD, dean of the School of Law and the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, has been elected chair-elect of the Council of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

Syverud, also the associate vice chancellor of Washington, D.C. Programs, served as vice chair last year and will become chair in 2012. Under the authority of the U.S. Department of Education, the council oversees national law school standards and policies. It also conducts the accreditation process for new law schools and the reaccreditation process for the 202 ABA-approved law schools in the United States.


“I am pleased to be assuming this responsibility at a time of great challenges and opportunities for law schools, law students and recent graduates,” Syverud says.

“There are many dedicated people who contribute to the work of the section,” he says. “There are also many great people who deeply care about American legal education in law schools, in the practicing bar, and in legal education organizations — including at the Association of American Law Schools, the Clinical Legal Education Association and the Law School Admissions Council.

“I look forward to working with everyone dedicated to improving legal education in America and thus to helping improve the quality of justice obtained by all.”

Chief Justice Christine Durham of the Utah Supreme Court and 2011 council chair notes: “The Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, its council and the legal education community at large will be extremely well-served by the selection of Kent Syverud as chair-elect. Dean Syverud is knowledgeable, experienced, wise and highly respected by all who work with him.”

Syverud has previously served the ABA section in an array of capacities, including as a member of both the Standards Review Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee. He led the effort in 2010 that produced a comprehensive study of law school rankings for the ABA president.

He also has been a frequent teacher and mentor to new law school deans as part of the ABA’s New Law Deans training programs.