Board of Directors

David A. Brennen

Dean and Professor of Law, University of Kentucky College of Law

David A. Brennen joined the Board in 2014 and is the Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Law. He joined UK in 2009 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 two decades 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.

Dean 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, Dean 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 and the Society of American Law Teachers and is a member of the Board of Directors for Hospice of the Bluegrass.

Dean 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 on several boards and held many special appointments, including being appointed to the American Bar Association Accreditation Committee and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Reaffirmation Committee.


Christopher P. Chapman

President and Chief Executive Officer, AccessLex Institute

Chris 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 as special assistant and policy counsel for two members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Chris has served on numerous nonprofit boards, committees and task forces throughout his career, most recently as a member of the American Bar Association’s Task Force of the Future of the Financing of Legal Education and the University of Cincinnati College of Law Board of Visitors.

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 from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Chris is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.


Danielle M. Conway

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

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.

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.


Mary Crossley—Board Secretary/Treasurer

Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

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.

A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, she earned her bachelor's degree in history at the University of Virginia and her JD 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.


Mark C. Dawkins

Former Dean and Professor of Accounting, Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida

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

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 & 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 also 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 (, 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.


Chris Guthrie

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

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.

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 2004-08 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.


W.H. Knight, Jr.—Board Chair

Distinguished Academic in Residence, Seattle University School of Law

W.H. (Joe) Knight, Jr., joined the Board in 2009. He is currently a Distinguished Academic in Residence at Seattle University. Professor Knight has been actively involved in legal education throughout his career. From 2001 to 2007, he served as Dean of the University of Washington Law School. He also served as Vice Provost of the University of Iowa from 1997 to 2000. Professor Knight has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Law School Admissions Council; served on the AALS Membership Review Committee, and on the Audit Committees of both the LSAC and AALS. He has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the AALS. He is a member of the American Law Institute and both the American and National Bar Associations. Professor Knight is also a trustee of the National University System, and a member of the board of directors of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

He earned undergraduate degrees in economics, speech, and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a National Merit Scholar. He received his law degree from Columbia University.


Maureen A. O’Rourke

Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs at Boston University 

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


Austen L. Parrish

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

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. Previously, he served as interim Dean and CEO (2012-14), Vice Dean (2008-2012), and a professor of law at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. From 2003 to 2010, he directed Southwestern’s international and comparative summer law program at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law in Vancouver, Canada. Prior to entering academia, Dean Parrish was an attorney with O'Melveny and Myers.

Dean Parrish’s research and scholarship is focused on transnational law, transnational litigation, and the role that national courts and domestic institutions play in solving global challenges. Dean Parrish 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.


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 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.

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.


Ralph D. Sinsheimer

Co-founder and Managing Director of The Solaris Group LLC

Ralph D. Sinsheimer joined the Board in 2017 and is the 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. He oversees Solaris’ institutional consulting and wealth management activities, including strategic and tactical asset allocation, manager selection and philanthropic services.

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 BA 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.


William K.S. Wang

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

William K.S. Wang joined the Board in 2012 and currently teaches Corporate Finance at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. From January 2005 through January 2009, Professor Wang served as a member of the FINRA (formerly NASD) National Adjudicatory Council. In addition, from 1996 to 2011 he chaired the Investment Policy Oversight Group of the Law School Admissions Council and served as a “participant” with the LSAC board.

Professor Wang was born in New York City and grew up near Washington, D.C. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College, and he is an honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He received his law degree from Yale Law School. After graduating from Yale, he took the California Bar Examination and then 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 Education to 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.