Duke Law School Welcomes Dean Levi

July 2, 2007Duke Law News

It’s Dean Levi now.

The Honorable David F. Levi, former chief U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of California, began his tenure as dean of Duke Law School on July 1. Levi takes over leadership of the Law School from Katharine T. Bartlett, who served as dean since 2000. Bartlett, A. Kenneth Pye Professor of Law, will return to the faculty full time after taking a year-long sabbatical.

“I am delighted to be joining such a strong and public spirited law school,” said Levi. “Dean Bartlett and the faculty have worked hard to bring the school to a high level achievement. It will be my duty, with the faculty, alumni, staff and students, to see that we maintain that high level and continue to move the school forward in scholarship, professional education, and leadership.”

Levi’s 17-year record as a federal judge, earlier service as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California, and contributions to law reform garnered widespread praise as he left the bench. At a tribute dinner in Sacramento on June 8, The Honorable Mary M. Schroeder, chief judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called his experience “virtually unmatched in academia.” In a written tribute, The Honorable John Roberts, chief justice of the United States, praised Levi’s leadership as chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure, which oversees all federal rule-making, and for service on other panels.

Bartlett joined the chorus of praise for her successor. “I am so excited about this new chapter in Duke Law School's history. Dean Levi brings a level of wisdom, experience, and leadership that promises great things the future,” she said.

Reflecting on her tenure as dean, Bartlett said, “It has been an incredible growth experience for me and I am privileged to have had this opportunity.

“I thank the faculty, students, staff, and alumni for their tremendous support, which has allowed us to achieve so much in terms of faculty development, new clinics, and the transformation of our facilities. Dean Levi will be counting on the same dedication and commitment of all of those who love this School. With the right support, Dean Levi can bring even greater distinction to this first-class institution.”

For more on Dean David F. Levi, see http://www.law.duke.edu/magazine/2007spring/features/levi1.

For more on the legacy of former Dean Katharine T. Bartlett, see http://www.law.duke.edu/magazine/2007spring/features/bartlett1.

For media inquiries, please contact Frances Presma at (919) 613-7248 or presma@law.duke.edu.