Law school welcomes new dean
David Partlett, former dean of Washington and Lee University School of Law, became dean of Emory’s School of Law July 1.
“This is a tremendous moment for the law school,” says Provost Earl Lewis. “The pool of candidates was rich and included many highly accomplished scholars. We are delighted to appoint someone of the caliber of David Partlett.”
Partlett has served as vice president, dean, and professor of law at Washington and Lee’s law school since 2000.
“I am truly honored by this appointment,” Partlett says. “Emory University law school is one of America’s premier institutions and boasts an absolutely sterling faculty. I am thrilled to be joining the Emory University community.”
A native of Australia, Partlett earned his LL.B. degree from the University of Sydney School of Law in 1970, an LL.M. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1974, and an S.J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School in 1982.
Before his tenure at Washington and Lee, Partlett served on the law faculty at Vanderbilt University, where he was senior fellow in the Institute for Public Policy Studies and also acting dean in 1996-1997. In the 1970s, Partlett was a senior legal officer for the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department in Canberra, Australia, where he was responsible for policy advice on the Racial Discrimination Act and other human rights legislation. He then served as principal law reform officer for the Australian Law Reform Commission before joining the faculty of the Australian National University in 1978; there was he associate dean from 1982 to 1985.
Partlett is a member of the American Law Institute, the curriculum committee of the American Bar Association, the American Society of Law and Medicine, and the Selden Society. He has taught courses on torts, defamation and free speech, child mental health, and medical malpractice.
“David Partlett will be a wonderful addition to both the Emory community and the Atlanta and Georgia legal communities,” says Ben F. Johnson III 65C, chair of the Emory Board of Trustees and partner with the law firm Alston and Bird. “He brings both a U.S. and a global perspective to the law and legal education, and he has experience as a student, faculty member, and dean at some of the nation’s very best law schools.”