The Santa Clara University School of Law has named Lisa Kloppenberg as its next dean. She was dean of the University of Dayton School of Law from 2001 to 2011 and has since served on the faculty there.

"Lisa Kloppenberg brings a wealth of experience and has a deep affinity to the distinctive values of our law school," university provost Dennis Jacobs said. "Having practiced law herself, she forges innovative approaches to legal education, champions the invaluable experience students gain in legal clinics and externships, and promotes rigorous academic scholarships to advance the legal profession."

Kloppenberg will replace dean Donald Polden on July 1. He has served as dean for a decade.

Koppenberg said she is excited to take the reins at the California school. "I am impressed by the university’s Jesuit and justice-centered values; it’s deep connections with Silicon Valley and the world; and the amazing faculty, staff, alumni, and students I am honored to be joining," she said.

Kloppenberg spearheaded a number of curriculum innovations while dean at Dayton. In 2005, the school launched its "Lawyer As Problem Solver" program, emphasizing practical skills and requiring students to take a course in alternative dispute resolution, an externship and at least one clinical or capstone course based on a practice simulation. Dayton was among the first schools to launch an accelerated two-year J.D. program, and Kloppenberg fostered closer ties between the law schools and Dayton’s business and engineering schools.

Santa Clara administrators said Kloppenberg’s willingness to experiment with curriculum and her focus on making legal education more practice-oriented were among the reasons she was chosen for the job.

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