Northeastern University School of Law's Luke Bierman
Northeastern University School of Law’s Luke Bierman ()

Elon University School of Law announced Monday that Luke Bierman will be its next dean, effective on June 1.

Bierman now is associate dean for experiential learning at Northeastern University School of Law. He has been a prominent leader in the move towards practical-skills training in law school.

“Professor Bierman’s record of innovation in legal education, his depth of executive experience in the practice of law and his accomplishments in forming and managing strategic partnerships that link higher education with the public, private and nonprofit sectors make him the ideal person to lead Elon Law,” university president Leo Lambert said.

Bierman said in an interview that he was attracted to the Elon deanship in part because of the school’s young age and because its faculty are willing to experiment.

“Elon offers an opportunity to really think about how we want to educate law students and what law schools should be about,” he said. “The university and the law school are very committed to the future of legal education and how to get it right.”

The Greensboro, N.C., law school opened in 2006, gained full accreditation from the American Bar Association in 2011 and has a curriculum designed to emphasize leadership skills. Bierman will replace George Johnson, who will return to the faculty after five years as dean.

Bierman has been at Northeastern—known for an innovative co-op program that places students in a series of real-world legal settings—since 2010. In that capacity, he helped establish The Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law in 2011. That group now boasts members from nearly 100 law schools who exchange ideas about how to incorporate practical skills in the law school curriculum, and who advocate for a greater emphasis on real-world legal training.

Additionally, Bierman sits on the advisory board of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers—a project of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System that aims to “facilitate innovation” in legal education.

“Luke Bierman has long been an innovative leader and a pioneer in confronting the challenges that face the future of legal education in America,” said Judge James Wynn Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Before joining Northeastern’s faculty, Bierman was general counsel in the Office of the New York State Comptroller. He earlier ran the ABA’s Justice Center; served as chief attorney for the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department; and was an associate at a Pittsburgh law firm.

Contact Karen Sloan at For more of The National Law Journal’s law school coverage, visit: