Staudt named dean of the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis​​​​​​


Nancy Staudt, JD, PhD, vice dean for faculty and academic affairs at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, has been named dean of the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, effective May 15, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton announced. She also will become the Howard and Caroline Cayne Professor of Law as well as a professor at the Brown School.

“Nancy Staudt is a great addition to the academic leadership team at Washington University, and our School of Law will be able to enhance its quality, impact and stature under her leadership. I am thrilled she has accepted our invitation to join us as dean of law,” Wrighton said. “This process has been led by Provost Holden Thorp, assisted by an excellent advisory committee chaired by Dean Edward F. Lawlor of the Brown School. I am grateful to all who brought our process to such a successful outcome.”

Staudt is excited about returning to the Washington University law school, where she served as professor from 2000-06.

“This is a wonderful moment in time to rejoin Washington University – one of the most thriving and exciting academic communities in the country today,” Staudt said.

“Both the university and the School of Law have enjoyed great success in recent years, and I am thrilled to be a part of this incredible momentum. I look forward to many years of collaboration with our fabulous students and faculty, and to connecting with the impressive legal community in St. Louis and beyond.”

Edward F. Lawlor, PhD, dean and the William E. Gordon Distinguished Professor at the Brown School, was chair of the advisory committee that recommended Staudt.

Advisory Committee

Edward F. Lawlor, PhD – chair – dean and the William E. Gordon Distinguished Professor at the Brown School

Howard Cayne, JD – law school alumnus, member of the WUSTL Board of Trustees and the School of Law’s National Council

John N. Drobak, JD – the George Alexander Madill Professor of Real Property & Equity Jurisprudence

Matthew Gabel, PhD – professor of political science in Arts & Sciences

Pauline Kim, JD – the Charles Nagel Professor of Law

Hillary Sale, JD – the Walter D. Coles Professor of Law

Peggie Smith, JD – the Charles F. Nagel Professor of Employment and Labor Law

Cort VanOstran – third-year law student

“Our committee interviewed an amazing group of candidates for the dean’s position,” Lawlor said. “Nancy Staudt impressed every constituency – faculty, staff, students, alumni, Washington University administrators – with her vision, energy, and knowledge of legal education.”

Provost Holden Thorp, PhD, noted that Washington University School of Law is at an exciting point in its history.

“Placed among the top-tier schools in the nation, the law school offers students increasingly innovative experiences in and outside the classroom while facing significant changes in legal education. The successful dean in this environment will be someone who is an outstanding scholar in an area of importance to our students with significant administrative acumen, a love of great teaching, and a strong sense of the pulse of American legal education. Nancy Staudt brings all of these qualities to Washington University.”

Thorp also announced that Nancy Staudt’s partner, Lee Epstein, PhD, Provost Professor of Law and Public Policy at USC, also will rejoin WUSTL as a university professor.

“Dr. Epstein’s scholarly work and teaching at Washington University will add significantly to our academic strength, and we are delighted that she is returning to Washington University to continue her distinguished career with us,” Wrighton added.

Daniel L. Keating, JD, the Tyrrell Williams Professor of Law, will continue serving as interim dean until Staudt assumes the role in May.

“I am grateful to Dan for his leadership and undying devotion to Washington University,” Thorp said. “His continued service to the school is invaluable.”​

About Nancy Staudt

Staudt is a nationally renowned scholar in tax, tax policy and empirical legal studies. In addition to serving as vice dean, she is the inaugural holder of the Edward G. Lewis Chair in Law and Public Policy at the USC Gould School of Law.

Staudt also holds an appointment as a professor of law and public policy at the USC Price School of Public Policy. In August 2012, Staudt was appointed academic director of the newly established Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy.

Staudt is a popular teacher in both the Law School and School of Public Policy, where her courses focus on the intersection of empirical legal studies, tax, politics and policy. Both she and her students have been featured in the media, including on CNN’s “The Next List,” which documents up-and-coming visionaries across the country. She is the author or co-author of nearly 40 articles and two books. Her work has been published in the country’s leading journals and university presses, and she has given more than 100 speeches and keynote addresses to national and international audiences on a range of tax, law and public policy topics.

In addition to her extensive list of publications and speaking activities, Staudt has served as an advisory panel and board member to renowned organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the Association of American Law Schools’ Tax Section and the Law and Society Association. She is also the recipient of several grants and awards that helped facilitate her interdisciplinary work.

Staudt earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University, a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School, and a doctorate in public policy from the University of Chicago.

Prior to joining the USC faculty in 2011, Staudt was the Class of 1940 Research Professor of Law at Northwestern University. In addition to her time as law professor at WUSTL, Staudt was on the faculty at the University of Buffalo School of Law.

She has held visiting professorships at Vanderbilt University, Boston University, and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel; she has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University.

Prior to her academic appointments, she was a tax associate at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco; she clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco; and she provided free legal services to both battered women and organizations seeking tax-exempt status from the federal government.