Welcome to the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law).
I am so humbled and thrilled to serve as Acting Dean at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law! Former Dean Renée Hutchins was a great leader who has made an incredible impact on this institution. As I step into this role, I am confident that – alongside our talented and dedicated faculty and staff members, exceptional students, passionate alumni and supportive community – we will remain firmly aligned with our mission to practice law, promote justice and change lives.
UDC Law is unique as the only public law school in D.C. and one of only six HBCU law schools across the United States, and 2022 is a year of celebration for the us. For 50 years, we have provided vital legal services for the D.C. community and transformational legal training for our students. Today, clinical legal education has become the norm across law schools, and I am so proud to be part of the legacy that paved the way – and I look forward to continued excellence.
In fact, our Clinical Program consistently stands out, ranked at number five in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. That honor could not be achieved without our nationally recognized clinical faculty, outstanding students and robust set of experiential program offerings including community service placement, funded summer fellowships, guided externships and service-learning trips.
We have built a strong foundation over our half century, and as Acting Dean, I plan to continue our growth by not only remaining committed to our mission to increase educational access to law degrees but also to creating opportunity through innovative educational experiences and exposure. We will use what we’ve learned from the shift in education delivery caused by the pandemic to provide a modern, adaptable legal education for our students.
Transitions can be challenging, but I have the utmost faith in the whole UDC Law community. Our students are enthusiastic about the law, our alumni do amazing work, our faculty members lead in their expertise areas and our staff members bring countless years of valuable experience. Over the next year, we will continue to innovate and strengthen our institution. This means allowing what works to continue to work and focusing our efforts on those areas that need attention. Together, we will preserve our culture of collegiality and professional respect. We will celebrate our successes, and I will nurture our team by providing developmental support for staff and continued academic and research support for faculty. To facilitate our continued success and to ensure our commitment to our mission, I will listen to the needs of our community, create pathways for transparency and consistency and strengthen collaboration between each member of the UDC Law family.
It is an absolute honor to lead UDC Law through this transition, maintain the highest standards of academic excellence and to do my part in continuing to set the tone for the next 50 years of UDC Law.
Twinette Johnson, J.D., Ph.D., Acting Dean