Board of Directors
Board of Directors

Board of Directors

 

W.H. (Joe) Knight, Jr.—Board Chair

Former Distinguished Academic in Residence, Seattle University School of Law

W.H. (Joe) Knight, Jr.

W.H. (Joe) Knight, Jr., joined the Board in 2009.  He served as Distinguished Academic in Residence at Seattle University until retiring earlier this year.  Knight has been actively involved in legal education and governance matters throughout his career. He has previously served as a member of the Boards of Trustees of the Law School Admissions Council and of The Association of American Law Schools.

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Knight served as Dean of the University of Washington Law School and before that, as Vice Provost of the University of Iowa. He is a member of the American Law Institute and both the American and National Bar Associations. During his career, Knight has also taught commercial law and related courses at Chapman University, Duke, Washington (St. Louis) and Wake Forest Universities.  He currently consults with businesses and higher education institutions, as well as serves as lead director of the State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company Board of Directors.

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Robert K. Rasmussen—Board Vice Chair

J. Thomas McCarthy Trustee Chair in Law and Political Science, University of Southern California, Gould School of Law

Robert K. Rasmussen

Robert K. Rasmussen joined the AccessLex Institute Board in 2013 and serves as J. Thomas McCarthy Trustee Professor of Law and Political Science at USC Gould School of Law, where he previously was Dean and Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law from 2007 to July 2015. Dean Rasmussen's scholarly expertise is focused on the interaction of market forces and corporate reorganization law, and his most recent work addresses fundamental changes in corporate reorganization practice. He teaches contracts, business bankruptcy, syndicated lending and an undergraduate course on the legal profession.

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Dean Rasmussen earned his J.D. cum laude from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was comment editor of the University of Chicago Law Review, and his B.A. magna cum laude from Loyola University of Chicago. He clerked for the Honorable John C. Godbold, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and worked in the Civil Division Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice, handling litigation in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court before joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 1989. At Vanderbilt, Dean Rasmussen served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and as Chair of the Faculty Senate. He has won numerous teaching awards at Vanderbilt and at USC. He also has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and University of Michigan law schools.

A widely cited scholar, Dean Rasmussen is the author or co-author of dozens of articles published in some of the country's leading law journals, including the Supreme Court Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, the Michigan Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. He has played a role in shaping the jurisprudence in his field as the principal author of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of nine law professors in the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court case Bank of America v. 203 North LaSalle Street Partnership; was the principal author of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of three law professors in Integrated Telecom Express, Inc., a 2004 case decided by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals; and was the principal author of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of seven law professors in Owens Corning, a 2005 case also decided by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the American Law Institute.

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Mary Crossley—Board Secretary/Treasurer

Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Mary Crossley

Mary Crossley joined the AccessLex Institute Board in 2013 and is a John E. Murray Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she teaches courses relating to health law and torts and directs the Health Law Program. Widely recognized for her scholarship in disability and health law, Professor Crossley has written broadly on issues of inequality in health care financing and delivery and has published articles in numerous law journals, including Columbia Law Review, Iowa Law Review, and Notre Dame Law Review. In 2013, she was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Public Health Law Scholar in Residence, and in 2016 was elected to membership in the American Law Institute.

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A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, she earned her bachelor's degree in history at the University of Virginia and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University. After graduating from law school, she served as judicial clerk for the Honorable Harry W. Wellford of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and then practiced health care and corporate law as an associate at the law firms of Wiggin & Dana in New Haven, Connecticut, and Shartsis, Friese & Ginsburg in San Francisco, California. She began her academic career at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1991, where she was promoted to Professor of Law and served for two years as Associate Academic Dean. In 2000, Professor Crossley joined the faculty of the Florida State University College of Law, where she was named the Florida Bar Health Law Section Professor of Law. At Florida State, she also served as a courtesy member of the faculty of the Florida State University College of Medicine. Professor Crossley was appointed Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2005, serving as the first female dean in the school’s 110-year history. She served as Dean from 2005-2012, focusing her leadership on initiatives relating to curricular reform, innovation programming and promoting diversity.

In addition to her service on the AccessLex Institute Board, Professor Crossley has served on the boards of the Magee Women’s Research Institute, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Health Initiatives for Youth and ACHIEVA.

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David A. Brennen

Frost, Brown and Todd Professor of Law and Immediate Past Dean, University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law

David A. Brennen

David A. Brennen joined the Board in 2014 and is a professor and former Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Law. He joined UK in 2009 as Dean from the University of Georgia School of Law where he was a professor since 2006 and from the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) where he served a two-year term as deputy director. Along with more than twenty-five years of experience in the classroom, Brennen is regarded as an innovator in the field of nonprofit law. He is a co-founder and co-editor of Nonprofit Law Prof Blog, founding editor of Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Abstracts, co-founder of the AALS Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law and a co-author of one of the first law school casebooks on taxation of nonprofit organizations.

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Professor Brennen received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida Atlantic University in 1988 and his law degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1991, where he also received his LL.M. in tax law in 1994. In 2002, Professor Brennen was elected to the American Law Institute where he is an adviser on its project titled, “Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations.” He has also served in leadership roles with AALS, ABA Section on Legal Education, Law School Admission Council and the Society of American Law Teachers.  A former ACE Fellow, Brennen also recently served as President of Southeast Association of Law Schools and Chair of the Board for Bluegrass Care Navigators (a statewide hospice nonprofit in Kentucky).

Professor Brennen began his career in legal education as an adjunct professor at Florida A&M University in 1994. He also taught as a professor at Syracuse University College of Law, the University of Richmond School of Law and Mercer University School of Law prior to his last position at the University of Georgia. In addition, he taught as a visiting professor at the University of Alabama and Temple University.

His law practice work began with Moody & Salzman, PA in Gainesville, Florida. He went to work with Bobo, Spicer & Ciotoli, PA in West Palm Beach, Messer, Vickers, Caparello, Madsen, Lewis, Goldman & Metz, PA in Tallahassee and the State of Florida Department of Revenue.

He has been a member of the Florida Bar - Tax Section, American Bar Association - Section of Taxation and the National Bar Association. In addition, he has served his professional academic community as chair of site teams for both the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education & Admission to the Bar and Southern Association of Colleges – Commission on Colleges.

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Christopher P. Chapman

President and Chief Executive Officer, AccessLex Institute

Christopher P. Chapman

Christopher P. Chapman has served as president and chief executive officer of AccessLex Institute since January 2008 and joined its Board of Directors in 2012.

Immediately prior to joining AccessLex, Chris was the president and chief executive officer of ALL Student Loan, a California-based nonprofit student loan provider, from 2001 to 2007. Earlier, he served as vice president of Student Loan Funding Resources, a student loan originator and secondary market, and as director of its joint venture loan servicing company. From 1999–2000, Chris practiced law as a senior attorney with Calfee, Halter & Griswold, LLP, working in its corporate, public finance and higher education practice areas. His early career was spent in the policy arena, including acting as special assistant and policy counsel for two members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Chris has served on numerous nonprofit boards, committees and task forces throughout his career, and regularly presents on matters relating to the financing of higher education, the state of legal education and public policy matters.

Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Xavier University, his post-baccalaureate Certificate in finance and accounting from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Chris is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

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Danielle M. Conway

Dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law, Penn State Dickinson Law

Danielle M. Conway

Danielle M. Conway joined the AccessLex Board in 2020 and is dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law at Penn State Dickinson Law. Dean Conway joined Dickinson Law in 2019 after serving for four years as dean of the University of Maine School of Law and for 14 years on the faculty of the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, William S. Richardson School of Law, where she was the inaugural Michael J. Marks Distinguished Professor of Business Law. Prior to her deanship, she was a member of the faculties at the Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. She also served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Australia and later as Chair in Law at La Trobe University, Faculty of Law & Management.

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In 2016, Dean Conway retired from the U.S. Army in the rank of lieutenant colonel after 27 years of combined active, reserve, and national guard service. Select assignments included service as Vice Chair, Contract and Fiscal Law Department at the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center & School and Honors Program Attorney at the headquarters for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, D.C.

Dean Conway is a leading expert in procurement law, entrepreneurship, and intellectual property law. She is the author or editor of six books and casebooks as well as numerous book chapters, articles, and essays. Her scholarly agenda and speeches have focused on, among other areas, advocating for public education and for actualizing the rights of marginalized groups, including Indigenous Peoples, minorities and members of rural communities. Dean Conway is one of five Black women law deans to have recently curated the AALS Law Deans Anti-Racist Clearinghouse Project. She also serves as one of three co-chairs of the newly formed Select Penn State Presidential Commission on Racism, Bias and Community Safety.

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Mark C. Dawkins

Professor of Accounting, Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida

Mark C. Dawkins

Mark C. Dawkins joined the Board in 2016 and served a five-year term as Dean and Distinguished Professor for Excellence of the Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida (UNF) from 2015–2020, and now serves UNF as a Professor of Accounting. Prior to this appointment he was an Associate Professor of Accounting in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia (UGA), served as the Associate Dean for Academic Programs from 2008-2014, and served on the accounting faculty from 1994-2015. He received his Ph.D. in Accounting from Florida State University, MBA (finance) and MACC (auditing) degrees from the University of Florida, and a B.S. in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Professor Dawkins’ research interests include bankruptcy, market effects of information asymmetry and market reactions to information disclosures. His recent research focuses on evaluating alternative earnings metrics, assessing faculty publications and connecting academic research to business practice. He has published in The Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, the Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, the Journal of Banking and Finance, Accounting Perspectives, the Journal of Managerial Issues, and other journals.

Professor Dawkins was a co-recipient of the 2006 and 2003 Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Teacher of the Year award at UGA, and received the 2006 and 2003 Alpha Kappa Psi Accounting Teacher of the Year Award. He is a member of the American Accounting Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the National Association of Accountants, PhD Project (www.phdproject.org), and the Accounting Doctoral Student Association. In August 2009 he was one of five recipients of the inaugural Ernst & Young Inclusive Excellence Award for Accounting and Business School Faculty. In January of 2014, he received the 2014 UGA President’s Fulfilling the Dream Award at the MLK Freedom Breakfast.

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Chris Guthrie

Dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School

Chris Guthrie

Chris Guthrie joined the Board in 2017 and is the Dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School. Dean Guthrie is a leading expert on behavioral law and economics, dispute resolution, negotiation and judicial decision making. Over the course of his academic career, he has been recognized for his research and teaching with two CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution Professional Article Prizes, the Outstanding First-Year Course Professor Award at Northwestern University Law School, and multiple teaching and research prizes at the University of Missouri, among other awards. Guthrie is one of the authors of the influential textbook Dispute Resolution and Lawyers and has published more than 50 scholarly articles and essays in leading law journals, including the University of Chicago Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

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Dean Guthrie joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty in 2002 following six years on the faculty at the University of Missouri School of Law. He served as the law school’s associate dean for academic affairs from 2004-2008 and became Dean in July 2009. During his academic career, Dean Guthrie has served as a visiting professor at the Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Washington University law schools. Before entering the legal academy, he practiced law with Fenwick & West in Palo Alto, California.

Dean Guthrie graduated with distinction and honors from Stanford University and then earned his master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a law degree from Stanford Law School. At Vanderbilt, Dean Guthrie has taught torts, negotiation and dispute resolution.

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Maureen A. O’Rourke

Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs at Boston University

Maureen A. O'Rourke

Maureen A. O’Rourke joined the Board in 2015 and is Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs at Boston University. O’Rourke is a member of the faculty of Boston University School of Law and served there as Interim Dean from 2004-2006 then Dean until 2018. Prior to that she worked at IBM Corporation, where she handled a variety of issues surrounding software licensing. She is a graduate of Yale Law School and earned her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Marist College.

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She served on the American Bar Association’s Council of the Section on Legal Education including as Chair and is a past-Chair of the AALS Section on the Law School Dean and the Section on Computers and the Law. She is a member of the American Law Institute and a member of the Board of Trustees of Marist College. O’Rourke is a co-author of one of the leading copyright casebooks in the U.S., Copyright in a Global Information Economy (Wolters Kluwer), and has written extensively on the intersection of intellectual property law with other fields, particularly contract law. She is also a recipient of the Metcalf Award, Boston University’s highest teaching honor.

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Austen L. Parrish

Dean and James H. Rudy Professor of Law, Maurer School of Law at Indiana University – Bloomington

Austen L. Parrish

Austen L. Parrish joined the Board in 2015. He is the Dean and James H. Rudy Professor of Law at the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University – Bloomington, a position he has held since January 2014. In 2018 he was appointed the Class of 1942 Wells Scholars Professor for his work with Indiana University’s Wells Scholars Program. Previously, he served as interim Dean and CEO, as Vice Dean and as the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. From 2003 to 2010, he directed an international and comparative summer law program at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law in collaboration with the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy, a United Nations affiliate. Prior to entering academia, Dean Parrish was an attorney with O'Melveny and Myers.

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Dean Parrish is active in a number of national organizations focused on legal education. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. He also currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools. From 2015-2020, he served as a member, and then chair, of the AALS Membership Review Committee; he served as a member of the faculty/programming committee for the 2019 New Deans Workshop; and in 2019 the Indiana Supreme Court appointed him to the Study Commission on the Future of the Indiana Bar Examination.

Dean Parrish’s research and scholarship is focused on transnational and international law, with a particular expertise in legal and policy issues related to the extraterritorial application of domestic law. Over his career he has taught a variety of courses, including civil procedure, constitutional law, federal courts, international environmental law and public international Law. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and his law degree from Columbia University, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar.

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Ralph D. Sinsheimer

Managing Director of Klingenstein Fields Advisors

Ralph D. Sinsheimer

Ralph D. Sinsheimer joined the Board in 2017 and was a Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Solaris Group LLC, a specialized global wealth strategy and asset management firm for ultra-high net-worth individuals, foundations and charitable programs, and institutional clients.  The firm merged with Klingenstein Fields Advisors in 2019.  He oversees institutional consulting and wealth management activities, including strategic and tactical asset allocation, manager selection and philanthropic services. 

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Mr. Sinsheimer held a similar position as Senior Vice President and Head of Wealth Management for Neuberger Berman Trust Company. The trust company delivered extensive customized trust and wealth management services to high net worth individuals, family offices, charities and employee benefit plans for the growth, protection and transfer of wealth. Prior to his tenure at Neuberger Berman Mr. Sinsheimer was a Managing Director at Offitbank, where he was instrumental in developing the firm’s alternative investment activities in the hedge fund and private equity sectors. There he also served as Director of Marketing and Philanthropy Management. Earlier, he was a General Partner of Eureka Capital Management, a long/short microcap hedge fund. Mr. Sinsheimer also worked at Loomis, Sayles & Company, a leading institutional money management firm, where he was a Vice President and Director of Funds.

Mr. Sinsheimer has a B.A. from Trinity College and an MBA from New York University. He sits on several other non-profit and corporate boards including the American Friends of Hebrew University, the Reform Pension Board and the URJ.

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William K.S. Wang

Emeritus Honorable Raymond Sullivan Professor of Law, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

William K.S. Wang

William K.S. Wang joined the Board in 2012 and is an Emeritus Sullivan Professor at the University of California, Hastings College of Law. From 2005 through 2009, Professor Wang served as a member of the FINRA (formerly NASD) National Adjudicatory Council. From 1996-2011, he chaired the Investment Policy Oversight Group of the Law School Admissions Council and served as a “participant” with the LSAC board.

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Professor Wang is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College and an honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He received his law degree from Yale Law School. After graduating from Yale, he moved to New York to work for a firm engaging in risk arbitrage. He left Wall Street to teach at the University of San Diego Law School. He later served briefly as a full-time consultant to the White House Domestic Policy Staff. He joined the Hastings faculty in 1981.

Professor Wang is the co-author of a treatise, Insider Trading, now in its third edition. He has also written numerous articles in law journals, magazines, and newspapers on subjects ranging from "The Unbundling of Higher Educationto "Toilet Paper - It's Good As Gold or How to 'Clean Up' in Toilet Paper."

As a hobby, Professor Wang likes to give travel, consumer and investment tips and has even published an article on budget travel to Las Vegas.

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