Notre Dame Law School | January 8, 2019
Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law Nell Jessup Newton will conclude her tenure as dean of Notre Dame Law School on June 30, 2019, after 10 years of service.
Newton assumed the deanship at the beginning of a recession that resulted in diminishing job prospects for law school graduates across the country and a concomitant serious downturn in applications to law schools. Despite these challenges, Notre Dame Law School is thriving, and continues to attract outstanding students and faculty.
She recently reflected on her time as dean by answering a few questions for the 2018 issue of Notre Dame Lawyer magazine.
What was your relationship with Notre Dame before you became the Law School’s dean?
My brother Rob Mier attended ND on a Navy ROTC scholarship. For a Catholic family of very limited means, attending college was a dream and going to Notre Dame seemed an impossible dream. His great grades and activities at St. Louis U. High resulted in him being admitted, and the Navy made the dream come true. I still remember the long, detailed letter my brother sent me about his first football weekend — the rallies, bonfires, shenanigans, and a blow-by-blow recap of the game. While at ND, Rob founded the ND Rugby Club and served as its first captain. He remains beloved by many of the early players who keep me on their email lists and still occasionally drop by my office to visit. Rob saved enough money to pay for me to come to his commencement, and I will always treasure the moment of seeing the campus for the first time and even meeting Father Ted. These memories are even more tender because Rob died in 1995 of lymphoma caused by his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Still, I feel his presence at the oddest moments while walking around campus.
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