Rachel Van Cleave


Rachel Van Cleave is Dean Golden Gate University School of Law. She began at GGU Law as a professor in 2004 and served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs from 2008-2012. Dean Van Cleave earned her BA at Stanford and JD at UC Hastings College of the Law. She clerked at Baker and McKenzie and served as a federal clerk for Fifth Circuit Judge Sam Johnson. In addition to early roles as a legal research and writing instructor at Santa Clara and a Teaching Fellow at Stanford Law School, where she also earned her JSM, Van Cleave was a Visiting Professor at the University of Richmond School of Law and UC Hastings. As a Fulbright Fellow, she conducted research at the Italian Constitutional Court on changes to the Italian criminal justice system, and later returned to Italy to research reforms in Italian rape law. She has published 15 law review articles and four book chapters. A professor who has earned awards for her dedicated teaching, Dean Van Cleave designed and taught original seminars that integrate research and writing with addressing real-world problems—courses like her Katrina and Disaster Law Seminar. Dean Van Cleave is a dedicated veterans’ advocate, working with veterans’ advocacy groups as well as spearheading the Veterans Law Advocacy Center at GGU Law. In addition to her scholarship and teaching, she has published articles in leading legal publications exploring the ethics and future of legal education and the profession.

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