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Boalt Hall School of Law has selected Harvard Law School professor Christopher Edley to be its next dean. He will be the first African-American to lead a top-ranked law school, according to Boalt Hall. Boalt’s announcement caps a yearlong search to replace John Dwyer, who resigned after 21 months as dean in the wake of sexual harassment allegations involving a student. The 12-member UC-Berkeley committee charged with finding a new dean was encouraged by UC-Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl to find a dean from outside the law school. The committee conducted a national search. “This appointment makes a statement about who we are and reinforces UC-Berkeley’s commitment to providing California and the nation with exceptional leadership on issues of social justice and the law,” Berdahl said in a statement. Edley is known nationally for his work in civil rights. He serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and founded the Civil Rights Project at Harvard. He said he hopes to establish a similar endeavor at Boalt. “California is ground zero for the transformation of America into a multiracial society, and the challenges of creating equity and opportunity are nowhere more urgent,” Edley said in a written statement.

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