Loyola Law School Appoints First Black Woman As Dean In Its 103-Year History

by Gee NY

Loyola Marymount University Law School has announced Brietta Clark as its newest dean, marking a historic milestone as the first Black woman to hold this title in the university’s 103-year history.

Clark’s groundbreaking appointment results from years of dedicated work in education, with over two decades of experience as a teacher.

Before her official tenure as dean, she served as the interim dean for a brief five-month period. Now, Clark joins a network of prominent Black women in academia, ushering in a new era for law students at Loyola Marymount University.

Reflecting on her achievement, Clark expressed her hope that her presence would inspire others:

“I do hope the fact my existence will help show someone, ‘Oh, actually. I can get that far. That looks like me. I can see myself there.'”

Loyola Marymount University Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas Poon, Ph.D., expressed his excitement about the decision, highlighting Clark’s expertise, passion for advancing research and education, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

He described her as an exceptional leader poised to lead the law school into a future of excellence and innovation.

Clark also talked about the importance of reflecting the communities the law school serves, ensuring diverse perspectives are acknowledged and addressing the challenges that need solutions.

She stated:

“We need to make sure that communities we are serving are reflected. That their views are known and that people understand what kind of problems exist that we need to try to solve.”

The selection of Brietta Clark comes at a time when law schools are undergoing significant changes to promote diversity initiatives, and responding to controversial legislation and restrictions.

Issues such as abortion rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and affirmative action have been in the spotlight, and Clark’s appointment signifies a positive shift.

She noted:

“This is a place where we interrogate the law, where we’re all about social justice. We think about inequality, right? And yet it has taken a long time for the legal academy to start to have its leadership, and even its professors and faculty and students, really reflect the diversity of America.”

This historic appointment reflects a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and excellence in legal education at Loyola Marymount University Law School.

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