San Diego, Calif. (January 7, 2023) – Mark Alexander, Dean and Professor of Law at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, was inducted as President of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) after delivering his inaugural address at the AALS Annual Meeting.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the Association of American Law Schools as President,” said Dean Alexander. “As legal educators, we can make a difference in shaping the legal landscape and our world. The theme for my presidency, ‘Defending Democracy,’ reflects this belief. Law schools have a critical role to play in the future of our country and our democracy—and we have a distinct responsibility to this country to ensure that our democracy endures.”
Dean Alexander takes over from 2022 AALS President Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law, who transitioned to Immediate Past President on the AALS Executive Committee.
The AALS House of Representatives voted in advance to accept the nomination of Melanie D. Wilson, Dean and Professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law, to serve as 2023 President-elect. The representatives also approved the nominations of Anthony W. Crowell, Dean of New York Law School and Renée McDonald Hutchins, Dean of University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, to serve three-year terms on the AALS Executive Committee.
“I am deeply honored to serve as President-elect of this distinguished and influential organization,” said Dean Wilson. “I look forward to Dean Alexander’s leadership as President and to working with other members of the Executive Committee and with AALS staff in pursuit of the AALS mission of advancing excellence in legal education.”
“I am proud to work with AALS President Alexander, President-elect Wilson, and the entire Executive Committee,” said Dean Crowell “This moment in our national life is marked by profound and unrelenting threats to the rule of law, a national racial reckoning, attacks on academic freedom, and a lingering and disruptive pandemic. The stakes for America’s law schools, and the profession as we know it, could not be higher. I look forward to ensuring that AALS continues to play an instrumental role in the lives of law schools, and helps American legal education do its part to fulfill the aspirations of our democratic society.”
“I am honored to have been selected to serve on the AALS Executive Committee,” said Dean Hutchins. “Lawyers have a critical role to play at this particular juncture in American democracy; and the AALS has a critical role to play in the training of future lawyers. I look forward to working with President Alexander, President-elect Wilson, and my colleagues on the Committee to ensure that the AALS remains an influential stakeholder in the future of legal education.”
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 its many communities—local, national and international.