Photo of Dickerson, Darby

Darby Dickerson


Professor of Law


Building & Room:



300 S. State Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604

Office Phone:

(312) 427.2737 ext. 128

CV Link:

Darby Dickerson


Darby Dickerson became Dean and Professor of Law at The John Marshall Law School in December 2016. In August 2019, she became the inaugural dean of UIC John Marshall Law School following the University of Illinois at Chicago's acquisition of The John Marshall Law School. She served as President of the Association of American Law Schools during 2020 and is currently the organization's Immediate Past President. In 2016, she was named one of the “most influential people in legal education” by National Jurist.

From July 2011 until December 2016, she served as Dean and the W. Frank Newton Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law. Before that, she served as Interim Dean and Dean at Stetson University College of Law in Florida from 2003–2011. She started her full-time academic career at Stetson, joining the faculty in 1995. At Stetson, she also served in a wide variety of other administrative roles, including Vice Dean, Associate Dean, Director of Legal Research & Writing, Moot Court Board Director, and Law Review Advisor.

A nationally known leader in legal education, Dickerson is active in the Association of American Law Schools. In addition to serving as President, she is a past Chair of several AALS sections, including the Section for the Law School Dean and the Section on Institutional Advancement. She chaired the AALS Deans Forum Steering Committee during 2019 and also has served on the Membership Review Committee.

She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a Past President and current Board Member of Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers, and a former Director of the Association of Legal Writing Directors. She is active in the American Inns of Court, having been part of four Inns: The Mac Taylor Inn in Dallas, the Ferguson-White Inn of Court in Tampa (where she served on the Executive Board and as President), the Texas Tech University School of Law Inn of Court in Lubbock (where she was a founding member and on the executive committee), and the Chicago Inn of Court. She has also been active in bar activities at the local, state, and national level.

Dickerson received her B.A. and M.A. from the College of William & Mary, and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. Following law school, she clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and then practiced commercial litigation with the firm now known as Locke Lord in Dallas, Texas. In 1995, she was named both Outstanding Young Lawyer in Dallas and Outstanding Director of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. In January 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the Darby Dickerson Award for Revolutionary Change in Legal Writing, named by the Association of Legal Writing Directors to honor her contributions to legal writing. In 2018, she received the AALS Section of Legal Writing, Research, and Reasoning’s lifetime achievement award. She has also received a variety of awards for her professional, charitable, and community service.

Professional Leadership

Immediate Past President, Association of American Law Schools

Test Design Committee, National Conference of Bar Examiners

Notable Honors

2018, AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning & Research Lifetime Achievement Award, Association of American Law Schools

2018, Joseph Kimble Outstanding Service Award, Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers

2016, Most Influential Individuals in Legal Education, National Jurist

2013, Inaugural Darby Dickerson Award for Revolutionary Change in Legal Writing, Association of Legal Writing Directors

2010, Business Woman of the Year, St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce

2009, Chief Judge's Award, 13th Judicial Circuit (Hillsborough County, Florida)

2009, American Red Cross Leadership Award, American Red Cross, Tampa Bay Chapter

2008, George Carr Memorial Award, Federal Bar Association, Tampa Bay Chapter

2005, Business Woman of the Year (Nonprofit/Social Services), Tampa Bay Business Journal

2005, Burton Foundation Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education, Burton Foundation


JD, Vanderbilt University School of Law
MA, The College of William & Mary
BA, The College of William & Mary

Professional Memberships

  • Elected Member, American Law Institute
  • Member, Chicago Inn of Court