Brooklyn Law School Dean Steps Down

Brooklyn Law School president and dean Nicholas W. Allard will be resigning at the end of this academic term, the school announced Tuesday.

“This was a difficult decision that was a long time in the making,” Allard said in a statement. After wrapping up his term, he said he plans to pursue “other meaningful opportunities” in education, politics, advocacy, and writing.

Professor Maryellen Fullerton, who teaches asylum and refugee law, will act as interim dean beginning on June 30 while the law school searches for a replacement.

Allard joined Brooklyn Law not from another law school but from Squire Patton Boggs, where he co-chaired the Government Advocacy Practice Group. Prior to that, he was a partner at Latham & Watkins.

He began his six-year tenure in 2012 amid a shrinking legal education market.

“When we selected Nick six years ago, we were looking at dramatic ways in which the law school environment was changing,” said Sullivan & Cromwell partner Frank Aquila, who serves as vice chairman of the Board at Brooklyn Law School. After reaching an all-time high in 2010, law school enrollment in the United States plummeted from 2011 to 2015, creating challenges for law schools to attract students and stay financially afloat.

“There was really a concern and question about whether the law school was really providing practical education and experiential learning,” said Aquila, who is a Brooklyn Law graduate.

Allard made significant changes during his deanship, including updates to the school’s writing and clinical programs, creating the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship, and implementing a two-year J.D. program.

Brooklyn Law school is an independent law school with an endowment of nearly $250 million, according to Stuart Subotnick, chairman of the Board of Trustees. Its alumni include many prominent New York lawyers, judges and politicians, including former New York City Mayor David Dinkins and Sheldon Silver.