Dean and Leadership
Robert M. Chesney
Dean & James A. Baker III Chair in the Rule of Law and World Affairs
Robert (Bobby) Chesney is the Dean of the University of Texas School of Law, where he also holds the James A. Baker III Chair in the Rule of Law and World Affairs. He is known internationally for his scholarship relating both to cybersecurity and national security. He founded and continues to guide the Integrated Cybersecurity Studies program at UT’s Strauss Center for International Security and Law (where he served as the director for many years), and is the author of a popular eCasebook on the legal, policy, and institutional aspects of that topic. His scholarship on issues such as military detention, the use of lethal force, freedom of speech, covert action, and military cyber activities has been published in an array of leading law reviews. His book on the history of legal frameworks relating to military detention is under contract with Oxford University Press.
He is a co-founder of Lawfare, the nation’s leading online source for analysis of national security legal issues, and he co-hosts the popular show The National Security Law Podcast. He is a member of the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee of the U.S. government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Dean Chesney attended Harvard Law School and Texas Christian University, graduating both magna cum laude. He clerked on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and practiced law in the litigation department of David Polk & Wardwell. Before joining UT in 2008, he was a member of the faculty of Wake Forest University School of Law, where he won multiple teaching awards. He served for many years as an associate member of the Intelligence Community’s Intelligence Science Board, and has testified before Congress on many occasions. Bobby is from San Antonio.
Associate Dean for Research & Charles Tilford McCormick Professor of Law
Melissa Wasserman joined the University of Texas law faculty in 2016. Her research focuses on the institutional design of innovation policy, with a particular emphasis on patent law and administrative law. Her articles have been published or are forthcoming in both student edited law reviews and peer review journals including Stanford Law Review, California Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, Texas Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Public Economics, and Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Professor Wasserman serves as one of 40 Public Members of the Administrative Conference of the United States and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Law and Economics Association.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Angus G. Wynne, Sr. Professor in Civil Jurisprudence
Susan Morse joined The University of Texas School of Law faculty in 2013. She studies and writes about international tax policy, tax compliance and regulatory design. She is interested in the interaction between legal systems and private ordering.
As Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Prof. Morse is charged with curating our curriculum, promoting pedagogical excellence, and addressing a wide range of faculty and student-related issues.
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging & Lecturer
Shavonne Henderson serves as the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging ("DEIB") and as a Lecturer at The University of Texas School of Law. As Associate Dean for DEIB, Henderson partners with other members of the Law School leadership team to devise and implement strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion among students, faculty, and staff. She spearheads improvements of the student experience, providing guidance on best practices to relevant committees and other law school leaders, as well as enrichment opportunities on equity and inclusion. Henderson also serves as chair of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee.
A Houston native and double Longhorn, Henderson has devoted much of her career to pursuing the principles of fairness, equity, inclusion, and access for Texans and our law school community. After receiving a B.A. in the Plan II Honors Program and a B.A. in Government from The University of Texas at Austin, she went on to earn her J.D. from the School of Law. While a student at the Law School, Henderson served on the Faculty and Student Advisory Committee charged with addressing matters of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; was a regional officer for the Black Law Students Association; served as the president of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity; and was a member of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights.
After law school, she worked as a litigator for regional and national firms, representing clients in pharmaceutical product liability cases across the country. During that time, she served on firm-wide and national committees geared toward improving inclusion, including the steering committee for the leading civil defense bar association. In 2013, Henderson moved into higher education administration at Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and subsequently served as the Assistant Director of Policy Research for an interdisciplinary research institute at the University while also teaching here.
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.
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.
Assistant Dean for Information Services & Director, Tarlton Law Library / Lecturer
Molly Brownfield was promoted to be the Director of the Tarlton Law Library and Assistant Dean for Information Services in 2022 after serving in prior roles including Interim Director and Deputy Director of Tarlton. Brownfield actually began her academic law library career at the University of Texas School of Law’s Tarlton Law Library as a Tarlton Fellow from 2004-2006. In the years between completing the fellowship and returning to Texas Law in 2017, Brownfield worked as a law librarian at Rutgers Law School in Newark, NJ, and then at Duke University School of Law in Durham, NC where she was the Head of Reference Services and a Lecturing Fellow. She also spent several years in the private sector – first as the Manager of Library Services at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, and then practicing trademark law with the law firm of Kelly IP, LLP in Washington, DC.
Brownfield holds a B.A. in French and Comparative Areas Studies from Duke University, a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School, and a Master of Science in Information Studies from the University of Texas School of Information. She is a long-time member of the American Association of Law Libraries.
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.
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 25 years of experience in Information Technology and related fields, with over 15 years serving UT and the School of Law.
Assistant Dean for Business Affairs
Melinda Heidenreich joined Texas Law as Chief Business Officer in April 2021. She is responsible for all accounting, budgeting, and financial transactions for the school. Melinda has over 18 years of administrative and financial experience at the university. Prior to joining the Law School, she worked as Chief Business Officer for the School of Undergraduate Studies (2020-21) and in various departments of the Cockrell School of Engineering for nearly ten years. She was honored to be a recipient of the university’s 2019 Outstanding Staff Award. Melinda earned an M.S. degree in Business from Texas A&M, Commerce (2016) and a B.S. in Communications from the University of Idaho (1997).
ASSISTANT DEAN FOR ADMISSIONS AND FINANCIAL AID
Mathiew Le is the Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Texas School of Law. A native Texan, he earned his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and his J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in Columbus, where he was a senior editor for I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society.
Prior to joining Texas Law, Dean Le was the assistant dean of admissions and financial aid at the University of Washington School of Law and the associate director of admissions and director of campus diversity at McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific in Sacramento, California. Dean Le has presented at numerous conferences and has held leadership and service positions at the university, state, and national level, including LSAC, where he served on the Board of Trustees and chaired the Services & Programs Committee and the educational conference for new law school admissions professionals. With AccessLex, he served on the Financial Education Advisory Committee contributing to the Business Best Practices for Your Financial Aid Office guide.
He has a deep commitment to diversity and believes in providing access to a legal education, especially among underrepresented segments of the population. Alongside two colleagues from the University of Iowa College of Law and DePaul University School of Law, he co-founded the inaugural National Asian Pacific American Pre-Law Conference.
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.
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.
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
Christopher Roberts oversees the law school's strategic messaging, branding, and communications. He joined Texas Law in the fall of 2014, relocating to Austin from New York, where he was previously an independent film and theater producer. His feature films won 17 major film festival awards, including two Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prizes. From 2021-22, he served as the Chief Communications Officer for UCLA School of Law before returning to The University of Texas. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a B.A. in History.