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Legal Education

By Debra Cassens Weiss



L. Song Richardson/UCI Law

Legal scholar L. Song Richardson took over as dean of the University of California at Irvine School of Law on Jan. 1, and made history in the process.

Richardson is the only woman of color to serve as a dean of a law school with a top 30 ranking in U.S. News & World Report, according to a press release. She replaces founding dean Erwin Chemerinsky, who left the school in May to become dean at University of California Berkeley School of Law.

Richardson, who was serving as interim dean, has been a faculty member at Irvine since 2014. She teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, and law and social science. According to the press release, she uses lessons from cognitive and social psychology to study criminal law and policing.

A September 2017 profile in Orange Coast magazine describes Richardson as one of the nation’s leading experts on racial bias and the criminal justice system. Her father is African-American and her mother is a Korean immigrant....