Dean and Leadership

Ward Farnsworth

Dean & John Jeffers Research Chair in Law

Before his appointment as dean of The University of Texas School of Law, Ward Farnsworth taught for 15 years at the Boston University law school, where he also served as associate dean for academic affairs. Dean Farnsworth is reporter for the American Law Institute's Restatement (Third) Torts: Liability for Economic Harm. He is author of Restitution: Civil Liability for Unjust Enrichment, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2014; The Legal Analyst, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007; and Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric, published by David R. Godine in 2010. He has published scholarly articles on a range of topics in the Columbia Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Michigan Law Review and various other journals.

He teaches courses on torts, contracts, civil procedure, admiralty and rhetoric. Dean Farnsworth graduated with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School in 1994, and afterward served as a law clerk to Anthony M. Kennedy, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, and to Richard A. Posner, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He has also served as legal adviser to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in the Hague.

Dean Ward Farnsworth portrait

John B. Beckworth

Associate Dean for Administration and Strategic Planning & Lecturer

John Beckworth joined the University of Texas School of Law leadership team as Associate Dean for Administration and Strategic Planning in the summer of 2013. Dean Beckworth oversees the Law School’s Office of Alumni Relations and Development and the Texas Law Mentoring Program and assists with planning and coordination of Law School operations.

After completing his legal education, Dean Beckworth joined Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP, in Houston where he was a partner in the firm’s Litigation Section. In 1994 through 2014, he co-founded and practiced in his own law firm in Houston, Watt Beckworth. During his time in private practice, Dean Beckworth handled and tried multiple civil jury cases and appeals and he was board certified in Texas for over twenty-seven years. His later career focused in oil and gas as a principal and as counsel to companies and individuals in domestic and international oil and gas litigation, transactions, and arbitration. He remains an associate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

During his time in private practice, Dean Beckworth was a guest lecturer and adjunct professor in the Law School and he currently teaches Oil and Gas Law.

Dean Beckworth is a former trustee of The University of Texas Law School Foundation and former president of The University of Texas Law Alumni Association and The University of Texas Ex-Student’s Association. He also serves as public company director and as a member of the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee.

John Beckworth headshot

Robert M. Chesney

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Charles I. Francis Professor in Law

Bobby Chesney is the Charles I. Francis Professor in Law and associate dean for academic affairs at The University of Texas School of Law. In addition, he is the director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, a university-wide research unit bridging across disciplines to improve understanding of international security issues. In 2009, Professor Chesney served in the Justice Department in connection with the Detention Policy Task Force created by Executive Order 13493. He also previously served the Intelligence Community as an associate member of the Intelligence Science Board and as a member of the Advanced Technology Board. In addition to his current positions at The University of Texas, he is a non-resident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution, a member of the American Law Institute, and a senior editor for the Journal of National Security Law & Policy. He is a co-founder and contributor to www.lawfareblog.com, the leading source for analysis, commentary, and news relating to law and national security. In addition to his blogging at Lawfare, those interested in national security law should consider following Professor Chesney on Twitter (@bobbychesney). Professor Chesney's scholarship focuses on U.S. national security policies and institutions, encompassing both domestic and international law issues. His articles may be downloaded from SSRN here.

Professor Chesney is a magna cum laude graduate of both Texas Christian University and Harvard Law School. After law school he clerked for the Honorable Lewis A. Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the Honorable Robert D. Sack of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He then practiced with the firm Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York (litigation), before beginning his academic career with Wake Forest University School of Law. There he received a teacher of the year award from the student body in one year, and from the school's dean in another. In 2008 he came to The University of Texas School of Law as a visiting professor, and then joined UT on a permanent basis in 2009. He became the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 2011.

William E. Forbath

Associate Dean for Research & Lloyd M. Bentsen Chair in Law

Professor Forbath came to Texas in 1997 after more than a decade on the faculties of law and history at UCLA. Among the nation's leading legal and constitutional historians, he is the author of Law and the Shaping of the American Labor Movement (Harvard, 1991), the forthcoming The Constitution of Opportunity (Harvard, 2015, with Joseph Fishkin) and dozens of articles, book chapters and essays on legal and constitutional history and theory. His scholarly work appears in Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, Law and Social Inquiry, and the Journal of American History; his journalism at Politico.com and in the New York Times, American Prospect and the Nation.

His current research concerns social and economic rights in the courts and social movements of the Southern Hemisphere, and Jews, law and identity politics in the Progressive Era. Professor Forbath visited at Columbia Law School in 2001-02 and at Harvard Law School in 2008-09. He is on the Editorial Boards of Law & History, Law & Social Inquiry: Journal of the American Bar Foundation, and other journals, and on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Legal History, Texas Low-Income Housing Information Services and other public interest organizations.

William Forbath portrait

Eden E. Harrington

Associate Dean for Experiential Education & Director of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law | Clinical Professor

Eden Harrington is associate dean for experiential education, director of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law and a clinical professor at the law school. She teaches internship courses linked to nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and legislative offices. Prior to joining the faculty in 2000, she taught clinics and served as director of Public Interest Programs at St. Mary's University School of Law.

Harrington previously was the executive director of the Texas Resource Center, a federally-funded community defender organization representing death-sentenced inmates in post-conviction appeals. She also worked with the ACLU Fifth Circuit Death Penalty Project, Texas Rural Legal Aid and the Medicare Advocacy Project in Los Angeles.

Eden Harrington portrait

Elizabeth T. Bangs

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs

Dean Bangs is the primary advocate for law students within the School of Law and the university. She counsels students on academic, personal and professional matters. Together with the members of the staff, she coordinates and supports a range of student services, programming and special events. Dean Bangs graduated with honors from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Prior to returning to academia, she was a judicial law clerk on the Ninth Circuit and in the Central District of California and a trial attorney in the United States Department of Justice.

Prior to coming to The University of Texas, she was the director of legal research and writing at Harvard Law School and the University of Oklahoma College of Law. She has also taught civil procedure and disability law and has experience in academic support and bar preparation.

Dean Bangs lives in Austin with her husband, who teaches religious studies at The University of Texas; their two children, Zack (born in 2011) and Charlotte ("Charlie," born in 2013); and their newest addition, Lab-Shepherd mix Molly. Dean Bangs spends Saturday mornings watching preschoolers play soccer, knows "Frozen" by heart and is always searching for new Austin restaurants that are both kid and adult friendly. She loves to bake. Her door is always open to students.

Elizabeth Bangs headshot Send Email Phone: 512-232-1313

Barbara A. Bintliff

Director, Tarlton Law Library/Jamail Center for Legal Research & Joseph C. Hutcheson Professor in Law

Professor Bintliff is Director of the Tarlton Law Library/Jamail Center for Legal Research and the Joseph C. Hutcheson Professor in Law. She came to the position in the fall of 2010, after serving as Director of the William A. Wise Law Library and Nicholas Rosenbaum Professor of Law at the University of Colorado. Her research interests include studying the differences between print and electronic information retrieval and the ways in which these search methods yield divergent results. She was selected to present the prestigious 22nd Annual Austin Scott, Jr. Lecture at the University of Colorado, and followed it with an article in Law Library Journal, From Creativity to Computerese: Thinking Like a Lawyer in the Computer Age. She is an expert in the authentication of electronic legal resources, and serves as Reporter for a Drafting Committee of the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Law that is writing a draft uniform law on this topic. Professor Bintliff also maintains an interest in exploring issues of legal history and comparative legal systems. She serves on the editorial board of several journals, and contributes regularly to the scholarly and professional literature through articles, reviews, and other publications.

For the last several years, Professor Bintliff has spearheaded an effort to increase the amount and quality of scholarship concerning legal research education and the use of legal information. An important outcome of this effort has been the production of the Boulder Statement on Legal Research Education. The text of the Boulder Statement can be found using the "publications" link on the left side of this page.

Photo of Barbara A. Bintliff Send Email Phone: (512) 471-7735

Lauren Fielder

Assistant Dean for Graduate and International Programs

Lauren Fielder, LL.M., J.D., a native Texan and ’07 graduate of the LL.M. program in Latin American and International Law from Texas Law, came back to her alma mater in June 2014 as the director of Graduate and International Programs and a senior lecturer. A year later, she was promoted to Assistant Dean, with overall responsibility for Texas Law’s LL.M. Program and international programs, as well as teaching International Human Rights Law in the fall 2015.  She taught international and constitutional law courses from 2005 to 2009 at Baylor Law School and Baylor University’s Political Science and International Relations Department. From 2008 to June 2014, Professor Fielder lived in Lucerne, Switzerland, where she was an assistant professor of law and assistant director of the Transnational Legal Studies Program at the University of Lucerne School of Law. There she taught international courses including African law, transnational litigation, U.S. constitutional law, international women’s and children’s rights, and protection of vulnerable groups. She also serves as a visiting associate professor at the Brooklyn Law School in New York City. Professor Fielder is a member of the American Bar Association, International Law Section; Texas Bar Association, International and Family Law Sections; Oklahoma Bar Association; and NAFSA, the Association of International Educators.

Lauren Fielder headshot Send Email Phone: 512-232-1175

Michael Harvey

Assistant Dean for Technology

As Assistant Dean of Information Technology, Mike Harvey reports directly to the Dean as a member of the Law School’s leadership team and is responsible for leading a customer-focused organization that delivers efficient and effective technology systems and services to advance the teaching, research, and service missions of the Law School and to sustain and enhance the Law School’s eminence in its field. He has over twenty-five years of experience in Information Technology and related fields, with over fifteen years serving UT and the School of Law.

Send Email Phone: 512-232-2736

Rebecca Edgar Melton

Assistant Dean for Alumni Relations and Development

Becky Melton joined the School of Law administration in 2013, and oversees the Alumni Relations and Development office.  She received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1994, and brings a deep understanding of the alumni community to her role, both as a graduate and as an experienced attorney.  Her professional experience includes more than 17 years of practice, spent primarily with an international law firm and as global employment law director for a multinational corporation.  Prior to receiving her J.D., she graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College in 1991 with an honors B.A. in History.

Photo of Rebecca Edgar Melton Send Email Phone: 512-232-1112

David A. Montoya

Assistant Dean for Career Services

Assistant dean since April 2004, David Montoya heads the Career Services Office (CSO), overseeing day-to-day operations, managing and developing resources for student career assistance, developing policies and procedures, conducting employer outreach and counseling students.

A native of Santa Fe, N.M., David earned a B.A. in business administration from the University of Notre Dame in 1985, where he was designated a Notre Dame Scholar. He received his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law in 1995.  Before attending law school, he was a CPA and worked for Arthur Andersen, LLP, a former international CPA firm, and Burlington Resources, a former Fortune 500 Company in the oil and gas industry.

David practiced law for nearly 10 years with firms in Texas, and was a partner with Jackson Walker, LLP in the Commercial Litigation and Corporate Reorganizations/Restructuring sections, primarily serving the telecommunications, technology and financial services industries. He served on recruiting and hiring committees for several past employers, and has extensive recruiting, interviewing and hiring experience.

David A. Montoya headshot Send Email Phone: 512-232-1155

Maria Rivera

ASSISTANT DEAN FOR ADMISSIONS AND FINANCIAL AID

Maria Rivera is the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at Texas Law. She previously ran the Career Services Office at the University of Connecticut School of Law and served as Associate Director for Admissions at Yale Law School. Maria is an attorney with ten years of legal practice. Prior to joining Texas Law, she served as the Managing Attorney for the Transactional Law Section of the Texas Office of the Attorney General's Child Support Division. The state's Attorney General named her as an Assistant Attorney General of the Year in 2015 for her work helping Texas families.

Maria received a BA, summa cum laude, from Texas A&M University and a JD from Harvard Law School. She has extensive board service for several non-profits, including serving as president of the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association and as an officer in the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin Foundation.

Send Email Phone: 512-232-1200

Gregory J. Smith

Assistant Dean for Continuing Legal Education

Greg Smith joined Texas Law Continuing Legal Education (CLE) in December 2012. He oversees all aspects of the educational and business operations of the department, including program development, event management, marketing, finance and technology. Pursuing a career as a CLE professional, he has worked in management roles for several CLE providers, including Colorado Bar Association CLE and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He is also a past president of the Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA).

Greg practiced for several years in the areas of banking, bankruptcy and commercial litigation and served for two years as Administrative Counsel to the Chief Judge of the Colorado Court of Appeals. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver College of Law and is a graduate of Colorado State University.

Gregory Smith headshot Send Email Phone: 512-232-1174

Jeffrey Toreki

Chief Business Officer

Send Email Phone: 512-232-1007

Christopher Roberts

Executive Director of Communications

Chris joined the law school communications team in the fall of 2014, moving to Austin from New York, where he ran his own boutique communications agency specializing in non-profit, mission-driven organizations. Before that, he was an independent film and theater producer, running the two production companies he co-founded, adobe theatre and Other Pictures. His feature films won 17 major film festival awards, including two Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prizes. He graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in History.

Send Email Phone: 512-471-7330