Anna Carpenter

NORMAN, OKLA. The University of Oklahoma announced today that Anna E. Carpenter will be appointed dean of the College of Law, effective July 15, pending the OU Board of Regents’ approval.

“We are thrilled to welcome Professor Anna Carpenter as the 14th dean of the OU College of Law,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “An accomplished legal scholar and award-winning educator, Professor Carpenter brings a remarkable ability to transform visionary ideas into practical solutions that enhance lives and expand access to justice. Her extensive background and strategic acumen will not only continue OU Law’s trajectory of excellence but also inspire and empower the next generation of lawyers, advocates and leaders.”

Carpenter comes to OU after having served as special advisor to the president at the University of Utah. In this role, she was responsible for developing and leading innovative university projects, such as launching a first-in-the-nation program that leverages pay-for-success financing to scale social interventions developed by university researchers, and developing a new program to increase college affordability and community service by blending service requirements with substantial scholarships and wages for undergraduate students.

Also a professor of law and the former director of clinical programs at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, she was the founder and director of Justice Lab, a clinical course where students work with community organizations to solve legal and policy problems and advocate for systemic change.

“Professor Carpenter’s impressive track record of academic leadership and commitment to innovation seamlessly align with OU’s values of excellence and forward-thinking. We are confident that her vision and expertise will inspire our students and further elevate OU Law’s reputation as a leader in legal education,” said OU Senior Vice President and Provost André-Denis G. Wright.

She received the inaugural Alli Gerkman Legal Visionary Award from the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System for her leadership in legal services and legal education innovation. She received the Stephen Ellmann Memorial Clinical Scholarship Award and was named a Bellow Scholar by the Association of American Law Schools’ Committee on Lawyering in the Public Interest for excellence in scholarship. Her papers have been selected for the Junior Scholars Public Law Workshop and the New Voices in Civil Justice Workshop.

Carpenter’s scholarship includes empirical and theoretical work on state civil courts and judges, access to justice, the relationship between law, civil courts, and structural inequality, legal regulatory innovation, and legal paraprofessionals. She has also written on legal education and clinical pedagogy.

Prior to joining the University of Utah faculty in 2019, her academic appointments include: associate clinical professor of law at the University of Tulsa College of Law and Clinical Teaching Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center. She was also a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow.

Before her academic career, she worked as a legal services lawyer representing low-income people in civil and immigration matters and as a federal policy analyst focused on domestic violence and poverty. She has a J.D. and LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from Willamette University.

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