Camille Nelson will be the next dean of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law. Nelson’s appointment was approved today by the UH Board of Regents and is effective August 1, 2020.
Nelson is currently Dean of the American University Washington College of Law. She previously served as Dean of Suffolk University Law School in Boston, where an annual diversity award is named in her honor for her leadership in diversity and inclusion.
“This is an incredible opportunity and I’m beyond excited as my family and I have had a long relationship with Hawaiʻi and UH.” said Nelson. “I’m very much looking forward to working with the law school faculty, students and support staff to continue to build on the amazing foundation and legacy of the Richardson School of Law. I have always been greatly impressed by the Richardson law students who I have been fortunate to teach over the years.”
“We are delighted to welcome Dean Nelson to our UH ʻohana,” said UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno. “Her experience and vision will be essential to the expansion of the impact of the Law School here in Hawaiʻi and beyond. I look forward to Camille joining the Mānoa leadership team.”
Nelson succeeds Avi Soifer who served as the dean for 17 years and will continue teaching at the law school.
“We have landed a terrific person as our dean, as well as an experienced, wise, and inspiring administrator,” said Soifer. “Thank you to the search committee, UH leadership and to everyone who participated in the search process.”
Nelson’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of critical race theory and cultural studies, with emphasis on health law, criminal law and procedure, and comparative law. Nelson has published articles, chapters, and essays that have appeared in numerous prestigious publications, and she is a co-editor of the Journal of Legal Education of the Association of American Law Schools.
Nelson was named among the Top 35 Women in Higher Education by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine, and was listed as one of the “Most Influential People in Legal Education” by the National Jurist.
Her professional service engagements include numerous legal education boards and committees, including the Advisory Committee on Massachusetts Judicial Nominations.
Nelson holds a law degree awarded magna cum laude from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, and an LLM from Columbia Law School, where she also received the Paul Robeson Distinguished Alumni Award from the Black Law Students Association in 2017.
For more see the UH law school’s website.