AUWCL Announces New Academic Dean Appointments, Welcomes New Faculty for Fall 2020

August 26, 2020

American University Washington College of Law is pleased to welcome new tenured and tenure-track faculty, practitioners-in-residence and visiting professors, and to announce the appointments of new academic deans and endowed chairs for Fall 2020.

“We are thrilled to have such an outstanding group of new scholars join our faculty – and take on new appointments – this academic year,” said Acting Dean Robert Dinerstein. “In a time when all law schools are facing unique challenges, I am confident that we will continue to provide an engaging learning environment for our students, as well as a vibrant scholarly community for all our faculty colleagues.”


New Academic Dean and Endowed Chair Appointments

Amanda Frost
Amanda Frost

Amanda Frost, Bronfman Professor of Law & Government
Amanda Frost, professor of law, has been named the Bronfman Professor of Law & Government. This three-year endowed chair stems from a donation from Ann Loeb Bronfman, an heir to the Seagrams fortune, who made the gift because of her connection with the late dean of AUWCL, Fred Anderson, a specialist in administrative law and environmental law. Frost writes and teaches in the fields of constitutional law, immigration and citizenship law, federal courts and jurisdiction, and judicial ethics. Her scholarship has been published in top law reviews, and her non-academic writing has appeared in The Atlantic, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and The American Prospect. Her book You Are Not American: Citizenship Stripping from Dred Scott to the Dreamers (Beacon Press) is scheduled for publication in 2020. Before entering academia, Frost clerked for Judge A. Raymond Randolph on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and spent five years as a staff attorney at Public Citizen. She has also worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee, served as acting director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic, and spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar studying transparency reform in the European Union. Frost received her AB from Harvard College and JD from Harvard Law School.

Amanda Cohen Leiter, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs
Amanda Cohen Leiter

Amanda Cohen Leiter, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs
Amanda Cohen Leiter, professor of law, was appointed senior associate dean for faculty and academic affairs beginning July 2020. She has already taken on a leadership role in the law school’s fall 2020 planning, coordinating the administrative task force.  Leiter teaches in the areas of environmental law, administrative law, and torts, and her research interests include administrative law and process, and domestic environmental law and policy. In 2015-17, she served in the Obama Administration as deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Before joining the WCL faculty fall 2011, Leiter was an associate professor at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law and a Beagle/HLS fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She clerked for Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Leiter received her B.S. from Stanford University, M.S. degrees from Stanford and the University of Washington, and her JD from Harvard Law School.

Ezra Rosser
Ezra Rosser

Ezra Rosser, Associate Dean of the Part-Time and Evening Division
Ezra Rosser, professor of law, has been named associate dean of the Part-Time and Evening Division. AUWCL’s four year part-time program is ranked #6 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, and enrolls more than 60 students each academic year. Rosser joined the law school in 2006 and has taught classes in his areas of expertise including Property, Federal Indian Law, Poverty Law, Land Use, Housing Law, Advanced Legal Analysis, and Wills, Trusts, and Estates. He currently serves as a Commissioner for the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority and is a past chair of the AALS Property Law, Poverty Law, and Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples sections. He is a co-author of Poverty Law, Policy, and Practice, editor of Holes in the Safety Net: Federalism and Poverty, and co-editor of The Poverty Law Canon and Tribes, Land, and the Environment. Rosser received his BA from Yale University, M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, and JD from Harvard Law School.


Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

Priya Baskaran,
Priya Baskaran

Priya Baskaran, Assistant Professor of Law
Priya Baskaran joined the faculty at AUWCL as an assistant professor of law in January 2020. She is the director of the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, which provides pro-bono transactional legal support to small businesses and individual entrepreneurs in D.C. and Virginia. Prior to joining AUWCL, Baskaran was an associate professor at West Virginia University College of Law where she served as director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Law Clinic. She has also taught in the Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a visiting professor and supervising attorney. Baskaran previously worked as a staff attorney for the Community and Economic Development Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School and as a research fellow for the East West Management Institute. She received her BA from New York University, JD from the University of Michigan Law School, and LL.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Elizabeth Earle Beske
Elizabeth Earle Beske

Elizabeth Earle Beske, Assistant Professor of Law 
Elizabeth Earle Beske is an assistant professor of law who began her work at AUWCL in 2008 teaching Legal Rhetoric and transitioned this year to a tenure-line position. Beske teaches courses on Federal Courts, Civil Procedure, and Advanced Legal Analysis. Her scholarship focuses on separation of powers and adjudicative retroactivity, and her work has appeared in the UCLA Law Review and the Washington Law Review. In 2018, Beske received the Washington College of Law Excellence in Teaching Award. She clerked for Judge Patricia M. Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Prior to teaching, she spent four years as an appellate litigator at Munger, Tolles, & Olson LLP in San Francisco, California. Beske received her A.B. from Princeton University and her JD from Columbia Law School, where she graduated first in her class and served as editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review.

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, Professor of Law
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson joins AUWCL this fall as a tenured professor after serving as visiting professor during 2019-2020. He will teach Evidence, Criminal Procedure, and a seminar examining police surveillance technology, privacy, and civil rights. Ferguson’s areas of expertise include criminal procedure, evidence, and criminal justice technologies. He is the author of The Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement and Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citizen’s Guide to Constitutional Action. His recent book, The Law of Law School: The Essential Guide for First Year Law Students, is the common reading for all incoming 1Ls this semester. Prior to joining AUWCL, Ferguson taught at University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law. Prior to teaching, Ferguson worked as a supervising attorney at the Public Defender Service for DC, representing adults and juveniles in serious felony cases ranging from homicide to misdemeanor offenses. He received his BA from Williams College, JD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, and LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Brandon Weiss
Brandon Weiss

Brandon Weiss, Associate Professor of Law
Brandon Weiss is an associate professor of law whose research and teaching focus on property law and theory, as well as the relationship between housing, economic mobility, and government intervention, with a particular emphasis on federal subsidized housing policy. His writing on topics like privatization and the spatial distribution of low-income housing tax credit projects has been published in law reviews, including the Harvard Law and Policy Review, the UC Irvine Law Review, the Hastings Law Journal, and the Harvard Human Rights Journal. Prior to joining AUWCL, Weiss was an associate professor of law at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, where he served as a senior fellow at the L.P. Cookingham Institute of Urban Affairs. Previously, Weiss taught at UCLA School of Law as a visiting assistant professor and affiliated faculty member at the Ziman Center for Real Estate. He also practiced law in Los Angeles as a Skadden Fellow and Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow. Weiss received his B.S. from Stanford University, M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and J.D. from Harvard Law School.  


New Legal Rhetoric Professor

Bianca Garcia, Assistant Professor of Legal Rhetoric
Bianca Garcia has joined the Legal Rhetoric Program as assistant professor after four years of teaching in the Program, first as a graduate teaching fellow and then as adjunct professor. The AUWCL alumna served as a Note and Comment Editor for the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law and as a Dean’s Fellow for the Program. Previously, Garcia served as executive director of the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission, as an attorney-advisor for the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, and as a law clerk to several magistrate judges on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. She received her BA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and JD from American University Washington College of Law.


New Visiting Professors

Margaret E. Johnson, Visiting Professor of Law
Margaret E. Johnson is joining the Women and the Law Clinic for 2020-21 and will also teach Family Law this academic year. Johnson comes to AUWCL from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she is a  professor of law, co-director of the Center on Applied Feminism, and director of the Bronfein Family Law Clinic. She has also served as the University of Baltimore School of Law’s associate dean for experiential education. Johnson’s scholarship focuses on issues relating to gender, feminist legal theory, and clinical legal education. She is co-author of the book Lawyers, Clients & Narrative: A Framework for Law Students and Practitioners. Johnson has held several leadership roles in the clinical legal education community, including co-president of the Clinical Legal Education Association. Johnson received her BA from Dartmouth College and JD from Wisconsin Law School.

Maya Manian, Visiting Professor of Law
Maya Manian joins the WCL faculty this year as a visiting professor of law. Her scholarship investigates the relationship between constitutional law, family law, and health care law, with a particular focus on access to reproductive health care. She publishes and presents widely on reproductive rights and justice. Manian was a visiting professor at Howard University School of Law in 2019-20. She has published numerous articles in publications such as the Missouri Law Review, Ohio State Law Journal, the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, and the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. She was a visiting scholar at the Columbia Law School Center for Gender and Sexuality Law for the 2014-2015 academic year. Manian received her BA from the University of Michigan and JD from Harvard Law School.

Lindsay Harris, Visiting Associate Professor of Law
Lindsay Harris joins AUWCL this fall as a visiting associate professor of law and acting director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic. She comes to AUWCL from UDC’s David A. Clarke School of Law where she is an associate professor and Immigration and Human Rights Clinic director. She previously taught with Georgetown’s asylum clinic. Professor Harris won the American Immigration Lawyers Association 2020 Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award. Harris’ research examines the human outcomes of immigration laws and policies, and her publications address contemporary issues in asylum law and policy, including gender-based and gang-related asylum claims, along with pieces exploring clinical pedagogy. Prior to teaching, Harris worked with the American Immigration Council on efforts to end family detention. As an Equal Justice Works Fellow and later staff attorney with the Tahirih Justice Center, she launched and led the African Women’s Empowerment Project, conducting outreach to and representing survivors of gender-based violence in the DC metro area. Harris clerked for the Honorable Harry Pregerson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Harris has a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego, JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center

Lauren Onkeles-Klein, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
Lauren Onkeles-Klein joins AUWCL as a visiting assistant professor of law and director of the Disability Rights Law Clinic in July of 2020, filling in for Professor Robert Dinerstein while he serves as acting dean this year. Onkeles-Klein comes to AUWCL from the University of the District of Columbia – David A. Clarke School of Law where she served as director of the Juvenile and Special Education Law Clinic and taught both Civil Procedure and Professional Responsibility. From 2015-2017, she served as the practitioner-in-residence in the AUWCL Disability Rights Law Clinic. Onkeles-Klein was previously a senior supervising attorney at Children’s Law Center, litigating cases relating to access to education and special education, access to medical care, housing conditions, family law, and permanency for children in the abuse and neglect system. She has served as co-chair for D.C.’s Special Education Attorney Roundtable and as a member of the Advisory Board for Ayuda’s Community Legal Interpreter Bank. Onkeles-Klein received her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and JD from Georgetown University Law Center.


New Clinical Program Practitioners-in-Residence

In addition to visiting professors in the Women and the Law, International Human Rights Law, and Disability Rights Law Clinics, four new practitioners-in-residence will join our #2 ranked Clinical Program for the academic year. They are as follows: