MSU College of Law



July 1, 2008


Joan Howarth Begins as New Dean of MSU College of Law

East Lansing, MI – Joan Howarth begins her deanship today at Michigan State University College of Law. Howarth is the 11th dean and first woman dean in MSU Law’s 117-year history.

Howarth has been a professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, since 2001. She was instrumental in building the Boyd School of Law, founded just a decade ago, serving for four years as associate dean and helping to establish Boyd’s early and strong national reputation.

Howarth was recommended by a search committee chaired by MSU Law professor Alvin Storrs and comprised of MSU College of Law faculty and the senior associate dean; the MSU Graduate School dean; a current law student, and an alumni representative. Provost Kim Wilcox and Clifton Haley, president of the MSU College of Law, then recommended Howarth’s appointment to the full law school board, which approved her appointment. She is replacing Cliff Thompson, who has served as acting dean of the Law College since February 2007.

MSU College of Law was in founded in 1891 as the Detroit College of Law and was devoted exclusively to professional education in law. The Law College is one of only a few private law schools to be affiliated with a research university, enabling it to provide a comprehensive interdisciplinary legal education program. Classes offered in its state-of-the-art facilities provide students the benefits of a Big Ten campus while maintaining a small school culture. For more information about the Law College, visit


320B Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824