Bar Associations

DePaul University College of Law dean will lead ABA legal education starting next summer

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Jennifer L Rosato Perea headshot_400px

Jennifer L. Rosato Perea, the dean of DePaul University's College of Law since 2015, will be the first woman and first Latina to head ABA legal education. Photo by Jeff Carion/DePaul University.

The DePaul University College of Law’s dean will become the managing director for accreditation and legal education at the ABA, replacing Bill Adams, effective June 1.

Jennifer L. Rosato Perea, the law dean since 2015, will be the first woman and first Latina to head ABA legal education, which includes the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, its governing council and an ABA program that approves paralegal programs.

“I have spent over 30 years of my professional life seeking to improve legal education, and I am very excited to continue to pursue that passion as managing director—especially during this crucial time for legal education, higher education and the legal profession,” Rosato Perea said in a Nov. 29 ABA press release. “The focus on student success, the value of community and the importance of always asking ‘what must be done’ will guide me in my new role.”

An expert on family law, bioethics and legal ethics, Rosato Perea has an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.

“Dean Rosato Perea brings to the table 16 years of successful experience as a dean at three very different institutions, including a new law school, a public law school and private law school with a religious affiliation,” said Leo Martinez, a professor at the University of California College of the Law in San Francisco, who chaired the nine-member search committee, in the press release. “Her decanal chops are without question, and we are thrilled that someone of her accomplishment and experience will be the new managing director.”

After the search company Isaacson, Miller presented about a “dozen promising candidates,” the search committee forwarded three names to the council, which then chose Rosato Perea, according to the press release.

Adams was in the post since 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced many law schools to move online.

During his tenure as managing director, Adams helped steer the 15,500-member Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and its governing council, which is an independent arm of the ABA for accreditation of U.S. law schools.

He was the deputy director for nearly six years before becoming managing director. Adams announced his intention to retire in July.

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