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Kerry Abrams to become next Law School dean

Karen “Kerry” Abrams, vice provost for faculty affairs and professor of law at the University of Virginia, has been selected as the next dean of Duke Law School, according to a Duke Today release Friday.

Current dean David Levi announced last summer that he was stepping down after more than a decade in the role. Abrams, the new James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean of the School of Law, will assume the role July 1. According to the release, Abrams is an expert in immigration law and family law.

“Kerry Abrams is one of the brightest stars in legal education, and I look forward to welcoming her to Duke,” said President Vincent Price in the release. “She is a renowned scholar, a passionate advocate for students and faculty, and a deeply engaged citizen of the university who will advance Duke Law School’s already exemplary record of leadership and service to society.”

Abrams received her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Swarthmore College before attending Stanford Law School.

Upon graduation, she clerked for Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana before joining the litigation department of the New York-based law firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler LLP. Abrams joined the UVA faculty in 2005. 

Accompanying Abrams in her move to Duke is her spouse Brandon Garrett, currently White Burkett Miller professor of law and public Affairs at UVA. Garrett will be a law professor at the Duke Law School, noted the release. He is an expert in criminal procedure and wrongful convictions.

Editor's note: Abrams' name was misspelled in the headline in the original report. The Chronicle regrets the error.


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