Dean Darby Dickerson Announces Plans to Leave Stetson to Lead Texas Tech University School of Law

Dean Darby Dickerson.

Dean Darby Dickerson. Click for high-resolution image.

Stetson University College of Law Vice President and Dean Darby Dickerson announced plans to leave Stetson in early July to join Texas Tech University School of Law as Dean and will hold the W. Frank Newton Endowed Professorship. Dickerson has been dean of Stetson Law since February 2004, after serving as interim dean in 2003 following the death of Dean Gary Vause.

“Darby Dickerson has been a major force at the law school for the past 16 years,” said Wendy B. Libby, president of the university. “The College of Law and the University have benefited from her leadership and vision.”

“I want to thank Stetson for the many wonderful opportunities it has provided me over the years. It is an amazing school that I am proud to have served. Deciding to leave was difficult, but Texas Tech is a compelling institution that quickly felt like a great match,” said Dean Dickerson.

Joshua Magidson, chairman of the Board of Overseers at Stetson Law said, “We wish Dean Dickerson great success in the future and deeply thank her for outstanding service to the law school.” Magidson added, “The Board of Overseers and the Board of Trustees are committed to ensuring that Stetson’s role as a leader in legal education will continue.”
“Dean Dickerson has had a remarkable tenure here at Stetson,” commented Harlan “Butch” Paul, chairman of the Stetson University Board of Trustees. “Our intention is to name an interim dean as we formulate plans for a national search.”

During Dean Dickerson’s tenure at Stetson, the law school’s advocacy and legal writing programs have consistently ranked among the best in the nation. Dean Dickerson also dedicated the Tampa Law Center, a hub of legal activity in downtown Tampa that houses Stetson Law’s evening classes and the Tampa branch of Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal. She also has participated in creating a variety of innovative programs, including an honors program, dual-degree programs, and international study programs.

Dickerson joined the Stetson Law faculty in August 1995, following a legal career that included a judicial clerkship with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and law practice in Dallas. Her career at Stetson Law includes serving as interim dean, vice dean, associate dean, director of legal research and writing, and faculty advisor to both the Moot Court Board and the Stetson Law Review.

Dickerson is the author of the ALWD Citation Manual, a popular alternative to the Bluebook at law schools across the country. An expert in higher education law and policy, legal citation, and litigation ethics, Dickerson’s scholarly articles have appeared in legal journals across the country. She is president-elect of Scribes, the American Society of Legal Writers and past director of the Association of Legal Writing Directors and chair-elect of the AALS Section for the Law School Dean; she also serves on the Membership Review Committee of the Association of American Law Schools, is an elected member of the American Law Institute, and is a long-time director and former president of the Tampa chapter of the American Red Cross.

Dickerson has received a variety of honors, including the national Burton Foundation Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education in 2005. She was named the Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Woman of the Year in the Nonprofit/Social Services category in 2005, and Business Woman of the Year by the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce in 2010. She has received Stetson University’s Teaching Excellence Award and Stetson University’s Homer and Dolly Hand Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship.

Contact: Frank Klim