Jennifer L. Mnookin Appointed Dean of UCLA School of Law

Lauri Gavel
Executive Director of Communications
UCLA School of Law
(310) 206-2611
gavel@law.ucla.edu

Jennifer MnookinLOS ANGELES, CA, June 4, 2015 – Jennifer L. Mnookin, the David G. Price and Dallas P. Price Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, has been selected as the law school’s ninth dean after a comprehensive national search. A leading evidence scholar and a member of the UCLA Law faculty since 2005, she will assume the role of dean on August 1st.

“Chancellor Block and I are confident that UCLA Law will reach new heights under Jennifer’s leadership,” Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh said.

Mnookin has served in a variety of critical administrative roles in her decade on the UCLA faculty, including as vice dean for external appointments and intellectual life (2012-13) and as vice dean for faculty and research (2007-09). She is the founding faculty director of the law school’s Program on Understanding Law, Science, and Evidence (PULSE) and chair of UCLA’s Academic Senate Committee on Development. In 2014, she received the law school’s Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching. Mnookin’s teaching focuses on evidence law and torts, as well as more specialized courses in expert and scientific evidence, wrongful convictions, and law and popular culture.

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected as the next dean of UCLA School of Law,” Mnookin said. “Having served on the UCLA Law faculty for the past decade, I know firsthand what an exceptional institution it is. We have tremendously capable students, an extraordinarily talented and dedicated faculty and staff, and passionate and involved alumni and friends. I’m extremely excited about this opportunity to work together with the law school community, my campus colleagues, and the broader profession, to build on the many strengths of this great law school, and to advance our core values of access, excellence, collaboration and innovation.”

Mnookin’s highly-regarded scholarship has focused on a wide variety of evidence-related subjects. She is a co-author of two well-regarded treatises, The New Wigmore, A Treatise on Evidence: Expert Evidence and Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony. She has published more than a dozen articles on issues relating to forensic science, including latent fingerprint identification, handwriting expertise and DNA evidence, and has advocated for the need for a “research culture” in these areas. She is also known for her scholarship on visual and photographic evidence, and some of her current research explores innovative ways to increase access to expert social science evidence to educate juries about the potential for eyewitness misidentification and false confessions.

Mnookin is a leading expert on a variety of law and science issues outside the academy. She is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Science, Technology and Law and has served on a variety of federal and national working groups on issues relating to forensic science and evidence law. She has spearheaded amicus briefs on behalf of a group of evidence professors in several recent Confrontation Clause cases before the Supreme Court, and she was the primary investigator on a major grant from the National Institute of Justice to investigate the relationship between difficulty and error rate in latent fingerprint identification. 

Prior to joining UCLA Law, Mnookin was a visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School and a member of the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law. She is a member of the American Law Institute, and she received an A.B. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in the history and social study of science and technology from MIT.

Mnookin, who was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and raised in Berkeley and Palo Alto, California, succeeds Rachel F. Moran, who has served as dean of UCLA Law since October 2010. “Jennifer Mnookin is a first-class legal scholar, an imaginative teacher and a collaborative and innovative leader,” Dean Moran said. “I have no doubt that UCLA Law will continue to make tremendous progress under her guidance.”

About UCLA School of Law
Founded in 1949, UCLA School of Law is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship. With approximately 100 faculty and 1,100 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession. For more information, visit www.law.ucla.edu.