September 25, 2018

Kerr Russell’s Wayne State alumni gather for presentation from law school dean

Other Wayne State attendees included:

  • Wayne Law Alumni Relations: Duc Abrahamson, Alumni Relations Officer
  • Wayne Law Career Services: Tishia Browning, Director of Employer Development
  • Wayne Law Development: Rob MacGregor, Director of Development

Richard A. Bierschbach is Wayne State University Law School’s 12th dean. He began his appointment on August 17, 2017. He previously taught at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York for 12 years and was vice dean for the 2015-16 academic year. As vice dean, he was involved in numerous leadership initiatives, including crafting five-year strategic and financial plans for the law school.

Bierschbach’s teaching and research interests are in criminal law and procedure, administrative and regulatory law, state and local government law, and corporations (especially corporate, white-collar and regulatory crime). He is both a nationally-recognized scholar on issues of criminal justice and an accomplished classroom teacher. His published work has appeared in many of the country’s top law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Michigan Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Northwestern University Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, and the University of Minnesota Law Review. He twice—in 2013 and 2015—received the Best Professor Award from Cardozo’s graduating class.

Outside of academia, Bierschbach has had significant experience in government and the private sector, with particular expertise in appellate litigation and legal and strategic counseling. He was a law clerk to Judge A. Raymond Randolph of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1997-98) and to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court (2000-01). Between those clerkships, he was a Bristow Fellow in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of the Solicitor General (1998-99) and an attorney-advisor in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. He also worked in the New York offices of three international law firms—Wilmer Cutler & Pickering Hale & Dorr (now WilmerHale) (associate), Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (of counsel), and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (special counsel)—as a member of their appellate and litigation practices.

Bierschbach earned his B.A. in history (summa cum laude) from the University of Michigan in 1994 and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1997, where he won the Daniel H. Grady Prize for graduating first in his class and the Henry M. Bates Award, the law school’s highest honor. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and recipient of the New York City Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Publico Award for his work on behalf of its Juvenile Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney General’s Merit Award for coordinating a major interdepartmental anti-terrorism initiative. He has held various leadership positions within the American Bar Association, including co-chair of its Criminal Justice Section’s Amicus Practice Committee and vice chair of its Administrative Law Section’s Criminal Process Subcommittee.