Anthony E. Varona has served as dean of Seattle University School of Law since July 1, 2022. He oversaw the recruitment of the most diverse entering JD class in the law school’s history, which also was the strongest class academically (highest GPA and LSAT) in 13 years. Varona led the greatest ever expansion of graduate program enrollment at Seattle U Law, and launched a new SJD Program; a new Technology, Innovation Law, and Ethics (TILE) Program; and a new Sports Law Program. He recruited nationally prominent faculty and senior staff. He devised interventions designed to improve student academic and bar success and the overall student experience, launched a Dean’s Luminaries in Law Lecture and Conversation Series featuring nationally renowned speakers, and oversaw various communications and intellectual life initiatives that have attracted national acclaim.
Varona was dean and M. Minnette Massey Chair in Law at the University of Miami School of Law, from August 2019 through June 2021. His was a record-breaking deanship in spite of COVID-19's disruptions, which emerged after his first seven months as dean. He led the recruitment of the two then-strongest JD classes (highest GPA and LSAT) in the school’s recorded history. The law school achieved the highest representation of women law students and the lowest acceptance rate (30%) ever, and increased African American enrollment by nearly 22%. He boosted the bar success rate by 10% year-over-year, raised both US News & World Report reputation ratings, and improved the rankings of 9 of 12 specialties, including a new Top 25 ranking for clinical teaching and a Top 30 ranking for international law. Varona and his team brought in over $8 million despite the start of the pandemic, launched a number of new programs in international, environmental, human rights, transactional skills, and other areas, led the law school’s prominent response to the national racial justice reckoning, and initiated a new SJD Program.
Varona is the first Hispanic/Latinx dean of any law school in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and was both the first Hispanic/Latinx dean and first openly LGBTQ dean at Miami Law.
Before becoming Dean at Miami Law, Professor Varona was Vice Dean, Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, and Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL). Before his 14 years at AUWCL, Dean Varona was an associate professor at Pace University School of Law in New York and adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. An award-winning teacher and scholar, Dean Varona has taught courses in Contracts, Administrative and Public Law, Media Law, Sexuality and Gender Law, Intellectual Property, and Criminal Law, and has published widely in law journals and reviews associated with some of the most prominent law schools in the nation.
Dean Varona currently serves as Co-Chair of the Washington Supreme Court’s Task Force on Attorney Licensure and as Co-Chair of the Hispanic National Bar Association Task Force on Law Professors and Deans. He serves as a member of the Association of American Law Schools Membership Review Committee. He has been a member of various national boards of directors, including those associated with the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and Stonewall National Museum and Archives.
Before entering academia, Dean Varona was General Counsel and Legal Director for the Human Rights Campaign, an attorney at Skadden Arps and Mintz Levin, and an FCC Honors Program attorney. Dean Varona served as a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School, and earned AB and JD degrees from Boston College and an LLM from Georgetown.
LGBT Latino/a Political, Community and Social Organizing, in THE OXFORD ENCYCOLPEDIA OF LATINOS LATINAS AND POLITICS (2015)