Lester Named Law School’s Next Dean

Spring 2014

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Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger ’71 recently announced the appointment of Gillian Lester as the next dean of Columbia Law School. Lester, an expert on employment law and policy, and the acting dean of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, will officially begin her tenure on January 1, 2015.

“I believe this is a great appointment for the School, and promises over the coming decade to help Columbia Law School flourish at a time of both challenge and opportunity in the field of legal education,” said Bollinger when announcing the appointment.

Lester will be the 15th dean of the Law School, succeeding David M. Schizer, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law; Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law and Economics. Going forward, Schizer, whose 10-year term as dean ends on June 30, will continue to serve as a member of the Law School faculty.

Lester began her teaching career in 1994 at UCLA School of Law. She joined the Berkeley Law faculty in 2006 and has also served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the Georgetown University Law Center, and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel. Lester was co-director of Berkeley Law’s Center for Health, Economic and Family Security, as well as an associate dean for the J.D. program and curricular planning.

In addition to these academic roles, Lester is a co-author of one of the leading employment law casebooks, Employment Law Cases and Materials. She is also an adviser to the American Law Institute Restatement of Employment Law. Lester, who holds a J.S.D. from Stanford Law School and an LL.B. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, focuses her scholarship on issues such as workplace intellectual property and social insurance programs.

“I’m honored to take on the leadership of Columbia Law School at this pivotal time,” she said after the announcement. “I’m looking forward to working with its distinguished faculty, talented students, and accomplished alumni.”

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Gillian Lester