Earlier today, the UC Irvine School of Law — ranked within the top 30 of the nation’s law schools by US News & World Reports, and ranked 10th among public universities — announced that Professor L. Song Richardson has been named the school’s newest dean, succeeding UCI Law’s founding dean, renowned constitutional law scholar Erwin Chemerinsky.
Dean Chemerinsky had served as UCI Law’s dean for nearly ten years since the school’s founding in 2008 before accepting the position of dean at UC Berkeley School of Law this past summer. Richardson had been serving as interim dean since Chemerinsky’s departure, but with today’s announcement now becomes the second dean in the school’s history. Richardson — who is mixed race Black and Asian American — is also the only woman of color to currently serve as dean of any top-30 law school, and she may also be the first Asian American woman to be named dean of a major American law school. (I would welcome reader corrections if I am in error on this latter point.)