Richard Bierschbach has been selected to serve as the next dean of the Wayne State University Law School, ending a seven-month national search to replace former dean Jocelyn Benson. He will begin at Wayne State on Aug. 17, 2017. The announcement was made by Provost Keith Whitfield.
"The search committee worked very hard and diligently from a large pool of exceptional candidates,” Whitfield said. “In the end, Richard's many strengths made it clear that he would make a great next leader of the Law School."
Bierschbach comes to Wayne State from Cardozo School of Law and Yeshiva University in New York, where he’s served on the faculty since 2005. Bierschbach’s primary research and teaching interests are in criminal law and procedure. He is a nationally recognized scholar in the field, having published repeatedly in the nation’s top law journals. During 2015-16, he served as Cardozo’s Vice Dean.
Prior to joining Cardozo, Bierschbach clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Judge A. Raymond Randolph; served as an Attorney-Advisor in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel and as a Bristow Fellow in its Office of the Solicitor General; and practiced at a law firm in New York. He attended college and law school at the University of Michigan, studying engineering before graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in history. He received his J.D. in 1997, winning the Daniel H. Grady Prize for graduating first in his class and the Henry M. Bates Award, the law school’s highest honor.
“I am thrilled to be returning to my home state of Michigan to assume the deanship at Wayne Law,” Bierschbach said. “Wayne Law and Wayne State occupy a uniquely important place in the world of public higher education. The law school and university are doing exciting things, and I look forward to working with them to build on that momentum.”
Whitfield thanked Lance Gable for serving as interim dean during the dean search. "I am very thankful to Lance Gable for his leadership of the school,” Whitfield said. “He has been a good steward and leader for our Law School faculty and a great team player among the other college and school deans."