Judith Daar Tapped as Whittier Law School Dean

Nationally recognized health law expert and seasoned administrator will lead initiatives focused on enhanced academic outcomes

Whittier Law School Professor Judith Daar

COSTA MESA, Calif. – June 16, 2016 – Professor of Law Judith Daar has been appointed Dean of Whittier Law School effective August 1. Daar, a 25-year veteran of the Law School, previously held the position of associate dean for academic affairs. She is relieving Dean John Fitzgerald who stepped into the post for the short term and is now returning to private practice.

Daar will be charged with exploring strategic initiatives and partnerships for the Law School. She also will drive curricular reform designed to enhance law school-based bar preparation and provide the highest possible level of instruction.

“Professor Daar’s administrative experience, outstanding scholarship, national standing in her field, and devotion to students make her the ideal person to lead the Law School at this pivotal moment,” said President Herzberger. “This is a great time of challenge and opportunity where her skills and commitment to the school will be valuable.”

“I am tremendously enthusiastic about this leadership position,” said Daar. “Whittier Law School became my institutional home in 1990 and I am enormously grateful for the myriad of opportunities Whittier has provided me.”

A scholar of the intersection of law, medicine, and ethics, Daar is chair of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Ethics Committee and holds appointment as a clinical professor of medicine at University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. She received her J.D. at Georgetown’s University Law Center and an A.B. from University of Michigan.

Daar’s many publications include books and articles focusing on assisted reproductive technologies, a cutting edge field of law and science. She is frequently quoted by the media in stories covering reproductive medicine events, such as surrogate parenting arrangements and gamete donation.

Upon greeting new and returning students shortly after her appointment starts, her immediate goal is to further integrate doctrinal coursework, extensive bar exam preparation, and experiential learning. As an experienced teacher, Daar understands the need to prepare law students to be practice ready upon graduation. “We will continue to innovate in ways that best serve our students and the profession,” said Daar. In addition, she will shepherd a possible faculty and staff office move on campus.

“We are currently in a due diligence process with a potential buyer of the Law School property,” said President Herzberger. “The potential sale is part of a strategic plan to right-size our law school in light of current trends in legal education. Assuming the sale goes through, staff and faculty will move to a different building to consolidate resources and facilities.”

“We welcome Judith as Dean and feel that her stellar performance and student focus is a great benefit to our efforts in finding the pathway that is most beneficial to students’ ultimate success,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees Alan Lund.

About Whittier Law School
Founded 50 years ago and accredited by the American Bar Association since 1978, Whittier Law School offers a practical, hands-on legal education with experiences in the legal field to prepare lawyers for today’s practice. The student body at Whittier Law School is ranked as the most diverse in California, and the third most diverse in the nation.

For media inquiries, contact Patricia Zurita at pzurita@whittier.edu or 562-907-4277.

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