Roger A. Fairfax Jr. has been tapped to become dean of the Howard University School of Law.
“Mr. Fairfax is a passionate legal educator whose extensive scholarship and commitment to criminal justice reform are deeply aligned with the law school’s mission,” said Howard President Dr. Ben Vinson III, who announced the appointment effective July 1, 2024.
Fairfax is a prominent legal scholar, educator, and nationally recognized expert on criminal justice and diversity in the legal profession. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, a master’s from the University of London, and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, where he was an NAACP Legal Defense Fund Scholar and an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
He currently serves as dean of the American University Washington College of Law, where he successfully led a strategic plan that featured increased student enrollments with the highest academic credentials in the school’s history, according to university officials. He expanded faculty diversity, established new programs and invested in student experience, public interest, bar passage, diversity, community engagement, budget management, and enhanced alumni engagement and fundraising performance.
Fairfax previously served as George Washington University Law School’s Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor of Law and senior associate dean for academic affairs. He has served on the boards of the National Bar Association and the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute. He currently serves on the boards of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He was recently reappointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to the Judicial Conference of the United States Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules.
Fairfax conveyed he also values his latest appointment.
“I have long admired and championed the Howard University School of Law’s indispensable mission, and I am humbled by the opportunity to steward and lead this extraordinary community,” said Fairfax. “It will be a tremendous honor at this critical time to follow in the footsteps of those who have assumed the solemn responsibility of leading one of the most consequential institutions in the history of legal education and the legal profession.”