Academics and Research

Bruce Smith appointed new dean of the Sturm College of Law

Bruce Smith will become dean of DU's Sturm College of Law on July 1, 2016.

Bruce Smith will become dean of DU’s Sturm College of Law on July 1, 2016.

The University of Denver has appointed Bruce Smith as dean of its Sturm College of Law, effective July 1, 2016. Smith comes to DU from the University of Illinois College of Law, where he has served as a tenured professor since 2006, as Guy Raymond Jones Faculty Scholar since 2009, and as dean from 2009 to 2014.

Smith replaces Dean Martin Katz, who will return to the law school’s faculty after seven years leading the school through progressive change and increased public recognition.

“Bruce brings precisely the right experience, leadership qualities and ambition to continue the impressive trajectory of our Sturm College of Law,” says DU Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. “His experience as a dean, his distinguished scholarship, his commitment to innovative legal education and his commitment to interdisciplinary and cross-school programming are exactly what we need. He also is an expert fundraiser who will help us raise funds to provide access for our students and support for the work of our faculty. Bruce is excited about our DU IMPACT 2025 plan and about working with the faculty to evolve our law school. I am certain he will deepen our connections to the profession across the country and will further engage our alumni — all for the benefit of our students.”

Smith says he plans to build upon the law school’s institutional momentum and “the many successes achieved by my respected colleague and friend, Marty Katz.

“Over the past few years, no law school in the nation has responded more creatively, more energetically or more visibly to the transformation in the global legal profession,” Smith says, adding that he “looks forward to moving to Colorado — a state I know and love — and to collaborating with DU’s administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni and external supporters to advance one of the nation’s most ascendant law schools and universities to even loftier heights.”

U.S. News & World Report ranks the Sturm College of Law among the top 75 in the country, with five specialty programs ranked in the top 15: legal writing (No. 7), clinical training (No. 14), trial advocacy (No. 6), environmental and natural resources law (No. 15), and part-time programs (No. 6). The print edition of the magazine’s “Best Graduate Schools 2017” features the Sturm College as one of five schools that are “breaking the mold.”

“At a time of considerable challenge to law schools across the nation, we are especially proud to attract Bruce to DU,” says Provost Gregg Kvistad. “His experience as a law dean at one of the nation’s top comprehensive research universities, along with his track record for curricular innovation and strong collaboration with the bench and bar, all position him to make important and lasting contributions to the law school, to the University and to the broader legal community in Denver and beyond.”

Smith has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School and the George Washington University Law School. He earned juris doctor and doctor of philosophy degrees from Yale University, where he was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities. His BA and MA degrees are from the University of Cambridge in England; he also has a BA from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.







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