Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Mitchell Hamline School of Law today announced the appointment of Anthony S. Niedwiecki, dean and professor of law at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, as the school’s new president and dean.
Niedwiecki, who has led Golden Gate since July 2017, will begin his duties at Mitchell Hamline on July 1, 2020.
“We are thrilled to have Anthony Niedwiecki leading Mitchell Hamline,” said Lisa A. Gray, chair of the school’s board of trustees. “He emerged as the leading candidate from an exceptionally qualified pool of candidates from across the country. His extensive experience in areas crucial to our mission—including experiential education, skills integration, and distance learning—make him the perfect choice to lead us forward.”
Niedwiecki has spent 25 years working in the law. He started as an associate at two firms in Texas before moving into legal education in 1998, holding faculty positions at both Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia and Arizona State University School of Law.
In 2003, he joined Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., becoming a full professor in 2010 and serving as director of the Lawyering Skills and Values Program. He spent the next seven years at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago—an independent school like Mitchell Hamline—serving as associate dean for Skills, Experiential Learning, and Assessment as well as for Academic Affairs, and directing the Lawyer Skills Program. The John Marshall Law School became UIC John Marshall Law School last year when the school merged with the University of Illinois at Chicago.
As dean at Golden Gate the past three years, Niedwiecki oversaw improvements in academic achievement, increased student diversity, and improved financial performance. He also expanded the number of online courses for J.D. students and began developing a new partially online J.D. program. Mitchell Hamline is a recognized pioneer in online legal education, having created the nation’s first hybrid online/on-campus J.D. program at an ABA-approved law school in 2015 and launching the latest evolution of that program—a comprehensive, highly customizable blended-learning enrollment option—in fall 2020.
“I am extremely excited to come to Mitchell Hamline and build upon its legacy of access and opportunity,” Niedwiecki said of his appointment. “Mitchell Hamline matches both my personal values and my ideas for what the next steps in legal education should be. I look forward to leading a law school that has always been at the forefront of innovative learning, like its first-in-the-nation hybrid J.D. program, and sharing my own unique vision of preparing students for an ever-changing legal profession.”
In addition to his work in the law, Niedwiecki has a strong record of public and community leadership, including service as city commissioner and vice mayor of Oakland Park, Fla., as well as a member of the Broward County, Fla., Resource Recovery and Human Rights boards. In 2007, he founded Fight OUT Loud, an organization dedicated to helping people counter discrimination and hate directed at the LGBT community, and he continues to serve as vice president. He has received numerous awards for his advocacy on LGBT issues, including being recognized in 2018 as one of the “Outstanding LGBTQ Leaders in the Bay Area” by San Francisco Business Times magazine.
Niedwiecki, a native of Michigan and the first member of his family to attend college, earned a bachelor’s degree in math and education from Wayne State University in Detroit, and he began his career as a high school and community college math teacher in North Carolina. He earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Tulane Law School in New Orleans and an LL.M. in Legal Education from Temple University Beasley School of Law. He returns to the Midwest with his husband of 18 years, Waymon Hudson, and their two dogs, Lily and Petunia.
Niedwiecki will serve as the second president and dean of Mitchell Hamline School of Law, which was created in 2015 with the combination of William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline University School of Law. Mark C. Gordon served as president and dean from 2015-19 and remains on the faculty. Peter B. Knapp began serving as interim dean in 2019 and will return to the faculty in July.
(Adapted from a press release from Mitchell Hamline School of Law)