Chris Guthrie named Dean of Vanderbilt Law School

Chris Guthrie, a seven-year veteran of Vanderbilt University Law School and former associate dean for academic affairs, was named dean of the law school effective July 1, 2009.

A widely respected expert on dispute resolution, negotiation, judicial decision making, and behavioral law and economics, Guthrie has agreed to a five-year appointment, subject to approval by the Vanderbilt Board of Trust. He replaces Edward L. Rubin, who will continue as a faculty member at the law school.

“Chris Guthrie has already proven to be a deep source of administrative talent as associate dean for academic affairs for four years,” said Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, a member of the law school faculty.

“We acknowledge this milestone at the law school with gratitude to Dean Rubin for his accomplishments and strong optimism for continued progress under a proven legal scholar and administrator.”

Vanderbilt University Law School, a perennial top 20 law school in the annual U.S. News and World Report graduate school rankings, was ranked No. 17 for 2009.

“We were fortunate to have already on our faculty a candidate who could be dean at any leading law school,” said Lisa Bressman, professor of law, FedEx Research Professor and chair of the search committee. “Chris Guthrie is extraordinary. He has the combination of talents that will take Vanderbilt University Law School to even greater heights."

Guthrie, 42, graduated with distinction and honors in 1989 from Stanford University, before earning his master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and then a law degree from Stanford Law School. He practiced with Fenwick & West in Palo Alto, Calif., before joining the University of Missouri Law School faculty in 1996. He has also taught as a visiting professor at Northwestern University Law School and the Washington University School of Law.

“In Chris Guthrie, I believe we have found a dean positioned to move Vanderbilt forward,” said Genet Berhane, a law student, editor-in-chief of the Transnational Law Journal and member of the search committee.

“He will build upon the school’s successes, while preserving those qualities of the law school that are distinctly Vanderbilt – distinguishing it from other institutions.”

Guthrie is one of the authors of the influential textbook Dispute Resolution & Lawyers and has published more than 40 scholarly articles in leading law journals, including the University of Chicago Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. He has received multiple prizes for his scholarly research.

He is also an award-winning teacher. Over the years, Guthrie has taught Torts, Negotiation, Dispute Resolution, and Family Law.

“I am honored, humbled, and excited to assume the deanship,” Guthrie said. “We have an outstanding faculty, a gifted student body, a superb staff, an accomplished alumni base, and supportive university leadership. With all of these pieces in place, I am confident that the Law School’s best days are ahead.”

Media contact: Jim Patterson (615) 322-NEWS

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