The Appointment Makes Clark the First Woman and Black Dean in the Law School’s History
LOS ANGELES — In a historic move, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) announced that it has appointed Brietta Clark, J.D., as the new Fritz B. Burns Dean of LMU Loyola Law School. This makes Clark, who is the 19th dean of the law school, the first woman to hold the position and also the first Black dean in the law school’s history. Dean Clark has served as interim dean since July 16, 2023.
“I am thrilled to welcome Brietta Clark as the new Fritz B. Burns Dean of LMU Loyola Law School,” said LMU Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas Poon, Ph.D. “Her unparalleled expertise, combined with her passion for advancing research and education and her commitment to diversity and inclusion, makes her an exceptional leader to propel our law school into a future of excellence and innovation.”
Since joining the law school faculty in 2001, Clark has been instrumental in developing and implementing the law school’s strategic vision. During her tenure, she has served in numerous leadership roles in addition to interim dean, including associate dean for faculty from 2015-20. Clark also served as the co-chair of the Law School Strategic Planning Committee, chairing both the Tenure Review and Tenure-Track Appointments committees, helping to develop equitable practices in recruiting and retaining diverse faculty.
Demonstrating her commitment to increasing access to legal education and advancing LMU’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, in her six months as interim dean, Clark raised over $6.3 million, including a $5 million gift to the Bill and Gail Robinson Scholarship Fund and a $740,000 gift to the Sharon Sanner Muir and Samuel J. Muir Endowed Scholarship.
Clark is also known as an educator who exemplifies the university’s mission. Her research and public service have focused on inequity in the U.S. health care delivery and financing system, and she has assisted legal organizations and providers working to preserve access to essential health care services. She currently serves as a member of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Foundation Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board’s Advocacy Committee.
A nationally recognized expert in health law and bioethics, Clark is a sought-after speaker for national conversations on health care regulation and reform. Among her many publications, Clark is one of five authors of the ninth edition of “Health Law,” the leading health law casebook in American law schools; she has also served as a peer reviewer for publications such as the American Journal of Law and Medicine, the American Journal of Public Health, and the New England Journal of Medicine.
Before joining LLS, Clark practiced in the Los Angeles Office of Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, specializing in health care transactions and regulatory compliance. Clark earned her B.A. from the University of Chicago and her Juris Doctorate Degree from the USC Gould School of Law, where she was a post-graduate research fellow.
For Clark, being named dean represents a greater level of service. It is this mandate to serve that she considers the greatest honor of this appointment.
“I chose LLS as my professional home because of its mission to advance academic excellence, promote social justice, and increase access to legal education,” said Clark. “Our faculty are thought-leaders who shape the law and move us toward a more just world. Our students get real-world training while transforming lives, including through the 20+ clinics housed in the Loyola Social Justice Law Clinic. And our recent entering classes are among the most diverse we’ve welcomed. I am honored that LMU and the LLS community have entrusted me with this opportunity to further our mission and increase our impact.”