CUNY Appoints a New Dean for the CUNY School of Law

By Niko Balkaran

Sudha Setty, the new dean of the CUNY School of Law. Photo Credit:

The CUNY Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Sudha Setty as the dean of the CUNY School of Law. Setty is now the first person of South Asian descent to lead a CUNY school. Her appointment will be effective June 1.

“Dean Setty brings to CUNY a demonstrated ability to combine visionary goal-setting with deft governance, and to construct, fund and sustain the programs that realize those goals,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez in the announcement. “Her breadth of experience and commitment to use legal education for the advancement of social justice will build upon the Law School’s progress as the top public-interest law school in the nation.”

Setty previously was the dean of the Western New England University School of Law. She was the first woman of South Asian descent to serve as dean of an American Bar Association-accredited law school. Before becoming dean, Setty won several Professor of the Year awards.

As the dean of the Western New England University School of Law, Setty championed social justice. She spearheaded the creation of the university’s Center for Social Justice. The Center helped faculty and students to engage in issues such as racial justice, LGBTQ+ and immigrant rights. 

The Columbia University School of Law graduate and Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar previously served pro bono as the defense counsel in matters challenging terrorism sentencing guidelines and upholding prisoners’ civil rights.

Setty is also a member of numerous judicial committees and boards, including Community Legal Aid.

“I am thrilled and honored to serve as the next dean of CUNY School of Law. This law school was founded with the mission of public service, social justice lawyering, inclusiveness and accessibility,” said Setty. 

“In this moment, the nation and the world have recognized what CUNY has known all along: that our society needs more lawyers who are educated with these fundamental values to take on challenges of today and the future,” she continued. “I look forward to working with all the members of the CUNY community as the law school seeks to make the world a fairer, more just, and better place.”

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