Michelle J. Anderson, Dean of the CUNY School of Law since 2006, has led the School through a period of great renewal and transformation in development, facilities, programs, and recognition. After securing the support necessary to finance the acquisition and renovation of a LEED gold-certified, state-of-the-art building in a more strategic location, the Law School moved to a new home at 2 Court Square in Long Island City in 2012.
Under Dean Anderson's leadership, CUNY Law has strengthened its public interest mission and increased its academic standards. CUNY Law obtained PreLaw Magazine's ranking as the "Best Public Interest Law School" in the nation, continued its unbroken string of national top ten U.S. News & World Report rankings for "Best Clinical Training," achieved Princeton Review's national top ten rankings for "Best Law Professors" and "Most Diverse Faculty," and earned the National Jurist ranking as the second most diverse law school in the nation. The School also earned membership in the Association of American Law Schools and received praise from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its integration of theory and practice.
Dean Anderson is a leading scholar on rape law. Her articles have been published in the Boston University Law Review, George Washington Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, Rutgers Law Review, Southern California Law Review, and University of Illinois Law Review, among others. Her article redefining what rape should be legally was selected as the core text on rape law in Criminal Law Conversations, published by Oxford University Press in 2009.
Dean Anderson is a 1989 honors graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she earned the Chancellor's Award for outstanding academic achievement. She graduated from Yale Law School in 1994, where she was Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal. At Yale, she received research fellowships from the Orville H. Schell Center for International Human Rights and the Ford Foundation in Public International Law.
Following law school, Dean Anderson clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for Judge William A. Norris. She then worked at Georgetown University Law Center in the Appellate Litigation Program and the Institute for Public Representation where she earned an LL.M. in Advocacy and represented clients pursuing a range of civil rights claims and criminal appeals.
Dean Anderson was a member of the Villanova University School of Law faculty for eight years. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, a Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and a Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
At CUNY, Dean Anderson designed and facilitated monthly Leadership Roundtables with some 20 CUNY college presidents to discuss and develop leadership best practices. She also chaired the University-wide Task Force to establish a rigorous Common Core curriculum for CUNY undergraduate colleges.
Dean Anderson is a member of the New York City Bar Association's Task Force on New Lawyers in a Changing Profession, where she is Chair of the Committee on Unmet Legal Needs.