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Colin Crawford
Photo credit: University of Louisville
February 24, 2021 |

Colin Crawford Named Dean of Golden Gate University School of Law


Colin Crawford, dean of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, is joining Golden Gate University School of Law as its 16th dean.

GGU President David Fike announced the hire to the university on February 18, and Dean Crawford will join the San Francisco school this summer.

“Dean Crawford is a very experienced and accomplished dean and legal scholar,’’ Fike said. “I’m delighted to be able to work with him to help GGU Law deepen our strong commitment to student learning, maintain the high quality and rich diversity of the school’s student body, and support the professional success of our graduates.”

Serving as dean at Louisville since 2018, Crawford improved the school’s academic profile each year, substantially increased philanthropic giving, and revamped admissions and student services to increase enrollment and support for racially diverse students.

Before that, Crawford was the Robert C. Cudd Professor of Environmental Law at Tulane University Law School in New Orleans. He also directed the university’s multidisciplinary graduate and undergraduate Development Studies programs and taught undergraduate courses in the School of Liberal Arts.

Crawford said he was drawn to GGU after visiting the school last year while serving as a member of an American Bar Association accreditation team.

“I was positively impressed by and drawn to the mission of the school and the longstanding commitment of faculty, staff, and students to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including those for whom a law profession might otherwise be out of reach,” Crawford said.

“I am convinced that Dean Crawford is ideally suited to nurture our values and advance our goals in this vitally important area,” Fike said.

Crawford was selected “from among a pool of very talented, diverse, and qualified candidates,” said Professor Samuel Ernst, chair of the dean search committee, during a months-long process that engaged law school faculty, staff, and students.

“He assumes the leadership of GGU Law at an exciting time,’’ said Interim Dean Eric Christiansen. “Recent investments in the entering classes and pedagogical reform of the last few years are bearing exciting fruit in the launch of our JD Flex program and graduation of some of the most highly skilled classes in decades.”

Crawford is a prolific scholar in environmental, urban development, and land-use law. He also has experience with international programs, having developed and taught courses throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, served as the Project Director for the Environmental Law Capacity-Building Initiative in Central America funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, and published books and articles in English, Spanish and Portuguese, languages in which he is fluent. He has also lectured and taught in China, Cuba, France, Japan, Panama, and South Korea, and was a Fulbright scholar in the Dominican Republic.

He has a law degree from Harvard Law School and degrees in modern history from Cambridge and Columbia universities. He was admitted to practice law in the State of New York.


Located in San Francisco, Golden Gate University School of Law provides students with a solid foundation in legal theory and the skills necessary to be a successful practitioner. GGU Law has a special commitment to public interest law. In addition to a strong public interest law curriculum, the school offers financial assistance to students who pursue careers in public interest law, and our in-house clinics provide legal assistance to underrepresented populations. GGU students reflect a wide variety of ages, work experience, and cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. GGU’s 700 law students include working professionals and recent college graduates from more than 100 undergraduate and graduate institutions.

Michael Bazeley
Director of Communications, GGU


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