DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Julie Lawton named interim dean for the College of Law

Julie Lawton named interim dean for the College of Law

Julie Lawton speaking to some students
(Photo by FJ GAYLOR Photography)

Julie Lawton, a DePaul faculty member since 2011, has been named interim dean for the College of Law​, Provost Salma Ghanem announced. Her appointment will begin May 19, when Dean Jenn Rosato Perea steps down to assume the role of managing director of accreditation and legal education for the American Bar Association. Lawton assumes this position as the search for the next dean of the College of Law is extended to accommodate optimal campus visits for candidates and the necessary time for the community to engage in thoughtful consideration of the finalists.

Lawton has served as a business law professor and associate dean for experiential learning in the College of Law. Her areas of expertise
Julie Lawton headshot
(Photo by DePaul University/Keeton Holder)
include affordable housing, clinical legal education, debt financing and real estate. During her time at DePaul she has also been chair of the Faculty Council budget committee, served on the Strategic Resource Allocation Committee, was appointed as a Coleman Foundation Fellow and received DePaul Engage faculty recognition in 2015. In addition to her teaching and leadership roles, Lawton has been an American Bar Association site visit team member and held multiple leadership roles in the American Association of Law Schools. 

“Julie has served DePaul and the College of Law well over the last 13 years,” says Ghanem. “She has also demonstrated leadership in a number of roles and I believe she is more than prepared to take on the role of interim dean and lead the school during the transition.”

Prior to Lawton’s time at DePaul, she served first as a clinical teaching fellow and then taught in the legal clinics at Georgetown University Law Center from 2003 to 2011. She was also the founder and managing member of Lawton Development, LLC, a real estate development company managing the acquisition and redevelopment of multi-family residential properties in Washington, D.C. Lawton also practiced in the Financial Services group of Morrison & Foerster LLP after working as a Financial Analyst with Bank of America.

“I am honored to serve as interim dean of DePaul University College of Law, a place with distinguished faculty and talented staff and students,” says Lawton. “I appreciate the trust of my faculty and staff colleagues and Provost Ghanem to serve in this role. I look forward to working collaboratively with our stakeholders, including our dedicated alumni, to continue DePaul’s rich history of rigorous academic excellence in service of others.”

Lawton’s scholarly work has focused on the role of race in intra-race legal representation, client-centered lawyering, and real estate law. Her articles have appeared in the Michigan Journal of Race and Law, the Indiana Law Review, the UMKC Law Review, and the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy. She also authored a textbook on business fundamentals for lawyers and appeared on CBS News Chicago, Fox News Chicago and ABC News Chicago.

Lawton received her BS, magna cum laude, in business from Florida A&M University, her JD, cum laude, from Howard University School of Law and an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center.

“I want to thank Jenn for all of her contributions to the College of Law and DePaul,” Ghanem says. “DePaul will miss her, but the legal profession will benefit greatly with her in her new role, where I know she will have a lasting impact on law education at the national level.”​