New Law School Dean appointed

Ward Farnsworth

Ward Farnsworth, associate dean for academic affairs at Boston University School of Law, has been named dean of the School of Law at the University of Texas at Austin.

Farnsworth’s appointment, effective June 1, fills the position currently held by Interim Dean Stefanie Lindquist.

“As a teacher, a scholar, and a leader, Ward Farnsworth is just what UT Law needs,” said President Bill Powers. “I’m confident he’ll not only continue the tradition of first-class legal education and service to society at the University of Texas, but take the Law School to even greater heights.”

Farnsworth joined the Boston University faculty in 1997 and has remained active in the classroom, teaching courses in civil procedure, torts, contracts, and rhetoric. A highly regarded teacher, he has won a number of teaching awards, including the Ronald A. Cass Award for Faculty Excellence in Teaching and the Michael Melton Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

“I am thrilled to be coming to the University of Texas at Austin and to be working with such a world-class faculty and body of law students,” Farnsworth said. “I look forward to leading and building on the foundation of excellence and service that is already in place.”

Farnsworth takes over leadership of the Law School, which has more than 1,200 students and approximately 23,500 living alumni who have forged distinguished careers in government, public-service organizations, corporations, and law firms throughout Texas, the nation, and the world.

“The strength of leadership at the Law School is essential to the strength of the university as a whole as it pursues excellence,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Steven Leslie. “We have recruited a scholar of national prominence who has proved to be a stellar administrator. We are very fortunate to have Ward Farnsworth as our new dean.”

Farnsworth earned a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in 1989 and a law degree from the University of Chicago in 1994. He clerked for Richard A. Posner, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and for Anthony M. Kennedy, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. In 1996 he served as a legal adviser to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague.

He is a nationally renowned torts scholar; he currently serves as Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law Third, Torts: Liability for Economic Harm. He is the author of The Legal Analyst, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007, and Classical English Rhetoric, published by Godine in 2010, as well as numerous articles. He also is coauthor of Torts: Cases and Questions (with Mark Grady), the second edition of which was published by Aspen in 2009. He is also a member of the American Law Institute.

Related Link: “Introducing Ward Farnsworth, the Latest UT Law Dean” in The Alcalde

Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, 512-471-7330,