Dean Annette Clark '89

Annette Clark

Dean Emerita and Professor Emerita

 Sullivan Hall 210J


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  • Civil Procedure
  • Medical Liability
  • Bioethics and the Law


  • B.S., summa cum laude, Washington State University, 1981; Phi Beta Kappa
  • M.D. with Honors, University of Washington School of Medicine, 1985
  • J.D., summa cum laude, first in class, Seattle University School of Law, 1989
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
  • Glasgow Memorial Achievement Citation
  • Eloise Baird Boldt Scholar
  • Extern for Judge Eugene Wright, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Admitted to practice in Washington State


Annette E. Clark is Professor Emerita and Dean Emerita at Seattle University School of Law. She received her M.D. with Honors from the University of Washington's School of Medicine and her J.D., summa cum laude (first in class), from Seattle University School of Law. Professor Clark joined the School of Law faculty in 1989 immediately upon graduation. In addition to being a faculty member for the past 34 years, she is a long-time administrator, having served for ten years as Associate Dean and then Vice Dean, overseeing the academic program, including the curriculum and centers and institutes, as well as the faculty. She was the Interim Dean at Seattle University School of Law from 2009-2010, a Visiting Scholar at The George Washington University Law School in 2010, Dean and Professor of Law at the Saint Louis University School of Law from 2011-12.

Professor Clark was named Dean of Seattle University School of Law in 2013 and served in that capacity until 2022. She was the first alumnus of Seattle U Law to serve as its dean and the only law dean in the country to hold both J.D. and M.D. degrees. During those 9 years, she led efforts to “right-size” the law school, grow its national reputation, and enhance the law school’s social justice footprint in the community. Under her leadership, Seattle U Law was recognized as one of the most diverse law schools and a top law school nationally for racial justice and equity. The law school also diversified its educational offerings, launching new LL.M. programs, a Master’s in Legal Studies, and a part-time Flex JD program that offers legal education in an innovative hybrid, online format. Among other DEI efforts, Professor Clark spearheaded an initiative to bring access to legal education to Central Washington through a Law School Admission Council-funded pipeline collaboration among Heritage University, Seattle University School of Law, Gonzaga University School of Law, and the University of Washington School of Law.

Professor Clark counts teaching law students as one of her greatest joys. Her areas of expertise include civil procedure, medical liability, bioethics, and legal education, and she is a frequent regional and national lecturer on those topics. Her scholarship operates at the interface of health care, law, and health policy, with a particular emphasis on end-of-life issues. She has published articles in the New York University Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, and the Tulane Law Review, among others. To commemorate Seattle University School of Law’s 50th anniversary this year, she is currently writing an article describing the sale of the law school in 1993 from the University of Puget Sound to Seattle University and the impact the change in sponsorship had on the law school’s trajectory.

While on the Seattle U Law faculty, Professor Clark received the Seattle Journal for Social Justice Faculty Award in 2005, the Dean's Medal in 2006, and the Outstanding Teacher Award from the graduating classes in 2007 and 2011. She was named the James B. McGoldrick, S.J., Fellow in 2008-09 by President Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J. This annual award is given to the faculty member or administrator who best exemplifies commitment to students and to the values of a Jesuit education.

Throughout her professional career, Professor Clark has been active in various professional organizations, including the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), where she most recently served as the 2022 Chair of the Workshop for New Law School Teachers Planning Committee. She was the co-leader and co-host for many years of the national Promoting Diversity in Law School Leadership Workshop, which has successfully promoted and fostered diversity in law school leadership positions, particularly law deanships. In the community, Professor Clark has been a member of the MultiCare Institutional Review Board, the Bloodworks Northwest Board of Trustees, and the Washington Leadership Institute Advisory Board, and she currently serves on the Safe Crossings Foundation Board and the Overlake Medical Center Board of Trustees.

In recognition of her service to the legal profession, Professor Clark received the 2018 Betty Binns Fletcher Leadership and Justice Award from MAMA Seattle, which is given each year to an individual who has paved the way to success for, and has served as an inspiration to, other mother attorneys striving to excel in their legal careers while balancing family demands. In 2021, Professor Clark was named the recipient of the Washington Women Lawyers Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst Passing the Torch Award, which is given annually to an individual who has gone above and beyond in mentoring women lawyers, making a difference, and “passing the torch” in support of WWL’s mission to further the integration of women in the legal profession, promote equal rights and opportunities for women, and prevent discrimination against them.


Book Chapters

Consent to Health Care, coauthored with Ann Nakamoto & Barbara Shickich, (Washington Health Law Manual 2rd ed., 2006).

Decision Making for Incompetent Patients, in Washington Health Law Manual, (Washington Society of Hospital Attorneys, 1996).


The Right to Die: The Broken Road from Quinlan to Schiavo, 37 Loyola U. Chicago L. J. 385 (2006).

Corporate Ethics and Governance in the Healthcare Market Place: An Introduction, 3 Seattle J. Soc. Justice 205 (2004).

Ethics2: The Ethics of Bioethics in the Biotechnology Industry, 3 Seattle J. Soc. Justice 311 (2004).

Autonomy and Death, 71 Tul. L. Rev. 45 (1996).

On Comparing Apples and Oranges: The Judicial Clerk Selection Process and the Medical Matching Model, 83 Geo. L.J. 1749 (1995).

Preface: A Symposium: Physician-assisted Suicide Articles, 18 Seattle U. L. Rev. 449 (1995).

Abortion and the Pied Piper of Compromise, 68 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 265 (1993).


In the News

Law Schools Struggle To Find Themselves In Post-Recession Market

September 12, 2018 | Law360

Dean Annette Clark describes efforts to create a "common vocabulary" shared by doctrinal faculty and skills faculty.