Washington, D.C. (May 31, 2022) — Today, the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) announced that Alena Allen, Interim Dean and Professor of Law at University of Arkansas School of Law will join the association as its Deputy Director.
A nationally recognized figure in legal education, Allen’s scholarship has focused on the intersection of health policy and feminist theory. She has taught family law, health law, public health law, professional responsibility, and torts. Previously, Allen served on the faculty at the Cecil C. Humphreys University of Memphis School of Law where she won Professor of Year in 2013, the Farris Bobango Faculty Scholarship Award in 2019, and the MLK 50 Faculty Service Award in 2021. She earned a juris doctor from Yale Law School and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loyola University New Orleans.
“The core values that AALS promotes are values that are at the heart of legal education and are values that I am passionate about,” said Allen, “I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to support AALS in its mission and to assist law schools in their efforts to develop the next generation of lawyers and leaders.”
According to the deans surveyed, the top five attributes that contribute to being a successful dean are: emotional intelligence, good judgement, being a stabilizing force during difficult times, the ability to listen, and integrity. Deans also report that the experiences that are the most helpful in preparing for the deanship are serving as an associate dean and playing a leadership role on a law school committee.
Prior to becoming Interim Dean, Allen served in several administrative roles including Director of Diversity and Director of Faculty Research at the University of Memphis School of Law and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at the University of Arkansas.
“Dean Allen has thought deeply about the challenges facing law schools from a variety of vantage points so is the ideal person to contribute to the advancement of legal education at this critical time,” said Judith Areen, Executive Director of AALS. “We are fortunate to have such an innovative leader join us to help AALS support law schools and their faculty, staff, and students.”
Allen succeeds Elizabeth “Ginger” Hayes Patterson of Georgetown University Law Center who has served previously as Deputy Director of AALS and most recently as Senior Counselor.
Allen will begin her new role at AALS in August 2022. She will continue to serve on the University of Arkansas School of Law faculty on a part-time basis.
The Association of American Law Schools (AALS), founded in 1900, is a nonprofit association of 176 member and 19 fee-paid law schools. Its members enroll most of the nation’s law students and produce the majority of the country’s lawyers and judges, as well as many of its lawmakers. The mission of AALS is to uphold and advance excellence in legal education. In support of this mission, AALS promotes the core values of excellence in teaching and scholarship, academic freedom, and diversity, including diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints, while seeking to improve the legal profession, to foster justice, and to serve our many communities–local, national and international.