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S. Todd Brown named dean of UB School of Law


Thu, May 2nd 2024 10:50 pm

By the University at Buffalo

S. Todd Brown, a nationally renowned legal scholar in bankruptcy law and University at Buffalo faculty member since 2009, has been named dean of the School of Law.

The announcement, made by A. Scott Weber, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, is effective May 9.

Brown, who has served as the law school’s interim dean since July 2023, emerged from a highly competitive pool of candidates following an extensive international search, Weber said in a memo to the university community.

“We are delighted that professor Brown will serve as dean of our School of Law,” said UB President Satish K. Tripathi. “With his depth of legal expertise, his impressive scholarship and his demonstrated commitment to our university mission, professor Brown is ideally suited to lead the School of Law and advance its national reputation for legal education and scholarship.”

Weber said, “Professor Brown brings to this role significant scholarly and teaching accomplishments, substantial administrative experience, a proven dedication to UB students and faculty, and a deep commitment to enabling their success. Under his leadership, I am confident that the School of Law will continue to build its reputation and strength as a world-class center for interdisciplinary studies and innovation in scholarship, teaching and clinical education.”

Prior to his interim dean appointment, Brown was the law school’s William J. Magavern Faculty Scholar from 2019-23, as well as its vice dean for academic affairs from 2016-23.

In the latter role, he led several aspects of the school’s strategic planning efforts and improved support for faculty. He made important contributions to improving student outcomes and updated academic policies to align with evolving American Bar Association (ABA) and New York Bar requirements. In addition, Brown was critical to the School of Law’s successful transition to distance learning at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am honored to serve as the 21st dean in UB School of Law’s more than 130-year history,” Brown said. “In my 15 years at UB, including the last eight years as academic dean and interim dean, I have had the privilege of witnessing the passion and commitment that our community has for the law school. Our faculty, staff and alumni have been critical to our recent successes, and I look forward to working with our community as we build upon our strong foundation going forward.”

An accomplished scholar, Brown is an expert on bankruptcy trusts, Chapter 11, complex litigation and mass torts. His scholarship has been cited in a variety of state and federal opinions, and he has testified on these issues before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, state legislatures, the ABA’s task force on asbestos and bankruptcy trusts, and the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Commission to Reform Chapter 11.

Before joining UB in 2009, Brown was managing partner of a small business, an attorney with WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., and at Jones Day in Washington, D.C., and Cleveland, Ohio, as well as a Freedman Fellow at Temple University. He received his JD from Columbia University and an LLM from Temple University.

Prior to law school, Brown received a BA in philosophy, summa cum laude, from Loyola University in New Orleans.

Weber thanked Kemper E. Lewis, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, for chairing the search, as well as the search committee members.

“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Dean Kemper Lewis and all of the members of the search committee for their outstanding service, which was crucial to the successful outcome of this search,” he said.

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