Brooklyn Law Appoints David D. Meyer as New Dean
Following a nearly year-long search, Brooklyn Law School announced on March 24 that distinguished scholar and long-serving law school dean David D. Meyer will be appointed as the school’s new President and Joseph Crea Dean, effective July 1, 2023.
Meyer, who will be formally introduced at an in-person Law School event that will also be livestreamed, followed by a reception, will become Brooklyn Law School’s 10th dean since its founding in 1901. He joins Brooklyn Law from Tulane Law School in New Orleans, where he has been dean since 2010, a duration that makes him tied for the seventh-longest-serving law school dean in the United States.
He pledged to help bring the Law School into a new era as a key historic milestone approaches.
“I am deeply honored to join Brooklyn Law School as its next Dean and President,” Meyer said. “For well more than a century, Brooklyn Law School has built a reputation combining scholarly excellence and ambition with a compelling mission of access and public service. As Brooklyn Law School approaches its 125th anniversary in 2026, that distinctive mission has never been more important. I look forward to joining with faculty, staff, students, and alumni in ushering in a new era of ambition and innovation, leveraging its location in the heart of the world’s most creative, vital, and entrepreneurial city to prepare new generations of lawyers for leadership in a rapidly changing world.”
In sync with Brooklyn Law’s esteemed reputation for excellence in practical training, particularly through its clinics, Meyer’s accomplishments at Tulane include a major expansion of experiential education for law students. His work encompasses the creation of skills-focused boot camps for students in transactional practice, intellectual property, business literacy, and criminal and civil pre-trial litigation, as well as the launch of three new law clinics focused on immigration, First Amendment rights, and criminal justice.
“Much of my work at Tulane was focused on trying to build out opportunities for students through engaging with alumni and other leading figures in the worlds of business, government, public interest, private law practice, and more,” said Meyer. He also led the law school’s efforts in a university-wide capital campaign that raised $50 million of support for the school and tripled its endowment.
Another highlight of Meyer's leadership at Tulane that reflects Brooklyn Law’s values is his commitment to diversity, including his pivotal role in hiring Tulane Law’s first Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Additionally, his support and participation positioned Tulane’s Annual Corporate Law Institute as one of the premier M&A, corporate and securities law conferences in the country.
This will mark a return to Brooklyn Law School for Meyer, a leading scholar of constitutional law and family law, who was a visiting professor here in 2008. Before his deanship at Tulane, Meyer was a member of the faculty of the University of Illinois College of Law, where he also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. In 2002, he was a visiting professor of law at George Washington University Law School.
Prior to entering academia, he served as a legal adviser at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague and practiced law in Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
Expressing confidence in the selection of Meyer, Frank Aquila ’83, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, said: “In Dean David Meyer we have selected a dynamic leader who will move Brooklyn Law School forward as one of the preeminent independent law schools in the United States. Dean Meyer is an accomplished lawyer, legal scholar, and professor, who, as one of the longest-serving law school deans in the nation, has the breadth and depth of experience needed to be our next Dean and President. From our first conversation it was evident that Dean Meyer shared the Law School’s commitment to inclusive education for students who might not otherwise have access to legal education.”
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Aquila expressed appreciation to the Dean Search Committee members. “Their efforts left no stone unturned in a national search that yielded many superb candidates. Special thanks go to Eileen Nugent ’78, who tirelessly chaired the most inclusive and exhaustive dean search in the Law School’s history.”
Current Joseph Crea Dean and President Michael T. Cahill will continue in his role, which he has held since July 2019, until Meyer begins his post in July 2023. Prior to his deanship at Brooklyn Law School, Cahill served as co-Dean and Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School. Before joining Rutgers, he was a member of the faculty at Brooklyn Law School for 13 years. He also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2010 to 2013 and as Vice Dean from 2013 to 2015. A prominent criminal law scholar, Cahill will remain on the faculty.
Aquila thanked Cahill for his long service to Brooklyn Law School in so many important roles. “While Michael has many accomplishments, which will be honored in the months to come, his selfless leadership through the pandemic will forever be remembered and appreciated. We are delighted that Michael will soon be returning to his most beloved role as Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School.”
Meyer has written extensively on topics at the intersection of his two areas of expertise: constitutional law and family law. His writings include the book Contemporary Family Law, with Douglas Abrams, Naomi Cahn and Catherine Ross (West 3d ed. 2012), and scholarship that has been published in multiple law journals, including the American Journal of Comparative Law, Journal of Law & Policy, and the Family Law Quarterly.
He previously served as U.S. national reporter on family law at several congresses of the International Academy of Comparative Law and, from 2016 to 2020, as an associate reporter on the American Law Institute’s Children and the Law Restatement project.
Additionally, Meyer has experience in the nation’s capital. He was a law clerk for Judge Harry T. Edwards on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Byron R. White on the U.S. Supreme Court. He is also an elected member of the American Law Institute.
Meyer graduated with a B.A. in history, with highest honors, and a J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Michigan, where he also served as editor-in-chief of the Michigan Law Review.
The incoming dean will be joined at Brooklyn Law School by his wife, who is also a professor: Amy Gajda, Class of 1937 Professor of Law at Tulane Law School. Gajda, a journalist turned lawyer and internationally recognized privacy and media law scholar, will join the faculty as the Jeffrey D. Forchelli Professor of Law. Gajda’s most recent book, Seek and Hide: The Tangled History of the Right to Privacy, was published by Viking in 2022 to significant critical acclaim and follows her prior books, The First Amendment Bubble and The Trials of Academe. A first-generation college student, Gajda won the Felix Frankfurter Award for Distinguished Teaching, Tulane Law School’s highest teaching honor, and the Tulane President's Award.