April 12, 2024

Alicia Ouellette Chosen as New Dean of Lewis & Clark Law School

Ouellette, with experience as both a law dean and professor, will begin her tenure in January 2025. Associate dean of faculty John Parry will serve as Interim Dean, as Jennifer Johnson steps down this summer from leading Lewis & Clark Law as dean for the past ten years. 

After an extensive national search, Lewis & Clark has appointed Alicia Ouellette as the next dean of Lewis & Clark Law School.

“Dean Ouellette’s expertise and visionary leadership are exactly what is needed to build on the law school’s success and lead it into the future,” said Robin Holmes-Sullivan, president of Lewis & Clark. “Ouellette brings a wealth of experience and a deep appreciation for the law school’s strengths, as well as its impressive faculty and students. She will also be a great addition to the entire institution’s leadership team. Dean Johnson is leaving the law school on a solid financial footing with nationally recognized programs. I am grateful for the impact she has made during her decade of service in the position.”

Ouellette, who recently completed a nine-year tenure as president and dean of Albany Law School in Albany, New York, succeeds Jennifer Johnson. Johnson has served as dean of Lewis & Clark Law School since 2014 and is stepping down in August. Ouellette will begin in January 2025. John Parry, associate dean of faculty, will step into the role of interim dean from August through December 2024.

“I am so pleased that John Parry has agreed to serve as interim dean,” added Holmes-Sullivan. “Parry has ably served the law school faculty for eight years and will provide the essential leadership needed during this crucial transition period.”

At Albany Law School, Ouellette oversaw the execution of a transformative strategic plan, the fulfillment of an institutional affiliation with the University at Albany, the expansion into online graduate programs, and the completion of a record-setting fundraising campaign. Under her leadership, the school raised $33 million as part of a capital campaign, expanded its endowment by $21 million, and secured a $15 million gift from a single donor that endowed the law school’s Clinic and Justice Center.

As a leader in legal education, Ouellette is a longtime believer in the transformational impact of law school on the lives of students and graduates. She is also a champion of law education as a driver of positive change in communities and in society.

“Lewis & Clark Law School is an exceptional institution, poised for even greater success in the future,” said Ouellette. “I look forward to working with its outstanding faculty, staff, students, and alumni to build on its many strengths: its distinction in public service and the innovation economy, its reputation as a global leader in animal and environmental law, and its stature as an influential scholarly institution at the forefront of engaged scholarship and experiential education.”

Prior to her appointment as president and dean of Albany Law, Ouellette served as associate dean for academic affairs and intellectual life and a professor of law. Before joining Albany Law school in 2001, Ouellette was an assistant solicitor general in the New York State Attorney General’s Office and a law clerk to the Honorable Howard A. Levine at the New York Court of Appeals.

As a scholar, Ouellette focuses on health law, bioethics, disability rights, children’s rights, and human reproduction. Her book, Bioethics and Disability: Toward a Disability Conscious Bioethics, was published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press. She has authored numerous articles published in academic journals such as the American Journal of Law and Medicine, American Journal of Bioethics, Nevada Law Journal, Hastings Law Journal, Indiana Law Journal, and Oregon Law Review. She has presented to distinguished audiences around the globe, including at the Yale School of Medicine and the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

An alumna of Hamilton College, Ouellette graduated magna cum laude in 1994 from Albany Law School, where she was editor in chief of the Albany Law Review.

Incoming interim dean John Parry is a member of the prestigious American Law Institute since 2010 and is one of the country’s leading scholars of international extradition and the law surrounding torture. In addition to serving as the associate dean of faculty since 2016, Parry teaches courses in civil litigation. In 2016, he was named the Edward Brunet Professor of Law, an honor noting his dedication to both scholarship and teaching. He serves as the law school’s representative to the Oregon Law Commission and was instrumental in creating the Oregon State Bar’s alternative to the bar exam, the Supervised Practice Portfolio Examination (SPPE).

Dean Johnson is looking forward to welcoming Dean Ouellette in January and working with Interim Dean Parry this fall. “I am confident John will keep us focused on our important goals. And I know that Alicia will build upon our momentum and continue to enhance the recognition and support for our outstanding law school,” said Johnson. “I will assist both of them in any way I can to ensure our continued success.”