The Law School is proud to announce that Vice Dean Julie Spanbauer, a member of the law faculty for more than 30 years, has been named Interim Dean. Spanbauer’s appointment, effective June 1, 2021, was supported by UIC Provost Susan Poser, a former Dean of Nebraska Law School, and approved by the University of Illinois System Board of Trustees at its May 2021 meeting.
“I am honored to serve Chicago and to carry this Law School’s history of opportunity, inclusion, innovation and excellence forward into the future,” said Spanbauer.
Dean Spanbauer, who served as Vice Dean of the Law School from 2017-2021, assumes leadership following Darby Dickerson’s departure at the end of May to Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. Previous to her Vice Dean appointment, Spanbauer served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2015–2017 and as Director of Faculty Affairs from 2014–2015.
Spanbauer is highly respected among students, faculty and staff and has been a key stakeholder throughout her tenure in many of the Law School’s most strategic academic and operational decisions. While directing academic and faculty affairs under Dean John E. Corkery, she served as an integral member of the Dean’s Advisory Group, an effort that helped the Law School mitigate the impact of the economic and law school enrollment downturn. She has been elected to faculty tenure committees five times, elected to the Faculty Executive Committee twice, and has served on multiple strategic planning committees.
“This is a historic time for the Law School,” said Chris Cali (’09), a former Alumni Association president. “I think it was imperative that the Law School find someone with strong foundational roots within the institution to lead. Dean Spanbauer has been a staple of the Law School for decades. Her exceptional intellect and pragmatic approach to legal education and legal administration is certainly the anchor the Law School needs to guide this school ahead.”
Spanbauer’s mark on the Law School extends equally to the classroom, having taught our students in many of their most important courses: Lawyering Skills, Contracts I & II, Constitutional Theory and Employment Discrimination. Graduates who weren’t personally influenced by her instruction may know her as a former faculty advisor for the Moot Court Program or may have met her as a former Director of the Law School’s provisional admission Summer College to Assess Legal Education Skills (SCALES) Program.
Her dedication to the legal academy exceeds her service to UIC Law. As a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant Recipient, she taught at the Institute of Technology Law, National Chiao Tung University in Taipei, Taiwan in 2008. She has also lectured internationally at Trinity College in Ireland and in China, and from 2001–2004, Spanbauer served as the director of two programs, sponsored by the International Law Institute in Washington, D.C., to prepare international LLM students to enter law schools throughout the United States. She is the author of numerous articles addressing discrimination, contract law and women’s issues and has organized and served as a panel moderator at diverse conferences involving discrimination issues.
Before entering academia, Spanbauer clerked for Hon. Andrew P. Rodovich, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, and Hon. James T. Moody, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division.
Spanbauer will serve as Interim Dean until UIC concludes a successful nationwide search for a permanent replacement.