DePaul University has
selected a nationally recognized leader in legal education as dean for the
College of Law. Jennifer Rosato Perea, an accomplished scholar in family law,
bioethics and civil procedure, will join DePaul July 1.
Throughout her 25 years
in higher education, which includes 11 years as a law school administrator,
Rosato Perea has been an active voice in the national dialogue about legal
education. She currently serves as the dean of the Northern Illinois University
College of Law, a post she has held since 2009, and served as the acting dean
of the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law during its first year of
operation in 2006.
“DePaul is gaining a
dynamic and innovative law school administrator with a stellar academic career,”
said David Miller, interim provost at DePaul University. “Highly respected by
her peers, Jennifer brings extensive administrative experience and a deep
understanding of the current challenges faced by law schools and the legal
Rosato Perea’s legal
career began with a passion for working with abused children. She felt she
could make the biggest difference by becoming a lawyer. She clerked for the
Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill Jr. of the United States District Court, Eastern
District of Pennsylvania before becoming an associate with Hangley, Connolly,
Epstein, Chicco, Foxman & Ewing in Philadelphia. Today, she is a
sought-after public speaker and has published extensively on diverse legal
issues that affect children and families.
In addition to her
legal scholarship and practice, Rosato Perea was associate dean of students at
two universities. She spent 14 years on the faculty at Brooklyn Law School, and
in her later years was a co-director of the Center for Health, Science and
Public Policy and associate dean of students. She also served as associate dean
of students at the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law from 2007 to
2009. She has held teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, New
York University and Villanova University.
“My own academic career started with a
love for teaching, and I am thrilled to lead a college with a strong commitment
to excellence and innovation in educating law students,” Rosato Perea said. “I
look forward to working with DePaul’s distinguished faculty and dedicated
staff, and to contribute to the impressive work that is taking place at the
college and university. DePaul's social justice mission and long history with
public interest law fit perfectly with my personal and professional values."
As one of a small number of
Latina law school deans in the country
and the first in her family to attend college, Rosato Perea strives to enhance
diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. She presents extensively on
implicit bias and its effects on diversity and inclusion. In recognition of her
efforts, she received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Illinois
Secretary of State, the Vanguard Award from the Hispanic Lawyers Association of
Illinois, and the National Latino Law Students Association Leadership Award in
Education and Advocacy.
Under her leadership at
Northern Illinois University, the law school earned national recognition for
diversity, value and public service. Rosato Perea doubled opportunities for
experiential learning, including launching a clinic in health advocacy and
dramatically expanding student externship opportunities, especially in Chicago.
She led the development of a mentoring program for first-year students, pairing
almost the entire class with alumni and other lawyers, and initiated a
first-year professionalism program required for graduation. She also
collaborated with areas across the university to create accelerated degree
programs, allowing students to earn a bachelor’s and law degree in six years or
Rosato Perea earned her
bachelor’s from Cornell University and her law degree from the University of
Pennsylvania Law School. She was the editor-in-chief of the University of
Pennsylvania Journal of International Business Law and won the Edwin R. Keedy
Moot Court Competition. She is a member of the Association of American Law
Schools Membership Review Committee and the Illinois State Bar Association Task
Force on Legal Education and Student Debt. She formerly served as chair of the
Association of American Law Schools New Law Teachers Conference.
At DePaul, Rosato Perea
will lead a law school recognized for its world-renowned faculty and innovative
academic programs with creative approaches to professional skills training. In
2014, the National Law Journal placed DePaul’s College of Law first for Best
LLM Program and Best Law School Clinical Program in Chicago. DePaul has had the
largest number of graduates on the Illinois Super Lawyers list for the past
Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) founded DePaul University in 1898.
The university follows the ideals of St. Vincent de Paul, a 17th century French
priest for whom the school is named. With nearly 24,000 students and about 300
academic programs, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United
States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest.
DePaul’s tradition of providing a quality education to students from a
broad range of backgrounds, with particular attention to first-generation
students, has resulted in one of the nation’s most diverse student bodies. More
information is online at depaul.edu.
Photo and release available at http://depaulne.ws/RosatoPerea.