Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Administration & Staff

David N. Yellen

Title/s: Dean and Professor of Law

Office #: Corboy 1232

Phone: 312.915.7838

E-mail: dyellen@luc.edu

External Webpage: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=497402


David Yellen has served as Dean and Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law since July 2005. He writes and speaks frequently about legal education.  He has served on the American Bar Association Task Force on the Future of Legal Education and the ABA Section of Legal Education’s Standards Review Committee, where he worked on a major reform to the ABA accreditation standards.  He has served as chair of the ABA New Deans Workshop and the ABA’s Midyear Dean’s Workshop.  In 2015, Dean Yellen was named by the National Jurist as #5 on its list of the “25 Most Influential People in Legal Education.  The National Jurist calls him an innovator for his leadership role in the national dialogue addressing today’s challenges facing legal education.

Dean Yellen’s other main field of expertise is criminal law.  Since early 2014, he has served as a Special Master, appointed by Cook County Criminal Division Presiding Judge Paul P. Biebel Jr., working to identify inmates who may be entitled to new trials, having suffered torture by former Chicago police commander Jon Burge.  He also serves on the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council, which advises the Illinois General Assembly on the impact of proposed changes to sentencing laws.  He has written extensively on sentencing issues, served as an advisor to President Clinton's transition team on white collar crime, and argued a federal criminal case before the United States Supreme Court.

Prior to joining Loyola, Dean Yellen served as a member of the faculty at Hofstra Law School, where he held the Max Schmertz Distinguished Professorship, and served as dean from
2001-2004. He served as the Reuschlein Distinguished Visiting Professor at Villanova University School of Law and has also taught at Cornell Law School and New York Law School.  Prior to his academic career, Dean Yellen clerked for a federal judge, practiced law in Washington, DC, and served as counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.  


B.A., magna cum laude, Princeton, 1979
J.D., cum laude, Cornell, 1984

Professional & Community Affiliations

American Bar Association Section of Legal Education

  • Chair, Deans’ Midyear Workshop
  • Member, New Deans’ Workshop Planning Committee
  • Member, Standards Review Committee
  • ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education

Association of American Law Schools, Co-Chair, Section on the Law School Dean
Blackburn College, Member, Board of Trustees
Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, Member, Board of Directors
Cook County Justice for Children, Member, Board of Directors
Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council, Member

Selected Publications

Federal Sentencing and Practice (West, 2002) (with T. Hutchison et al.)

Reforming the Federal Sentencing Guidelines' Misguided Approach to Real-Offense Sentencing, 58 Stanford L. Rev. 267 (2005)
Saving Federal Sentencing Reform After Apprendi, Blakely and Booker, 50 Vill. L. Rev. 163 (2005)
The Enduring Difference of Youth, 47 Kansas L. Rev. 995 (1999)
Thinking Like a Lawyer or Acting Like a Judge? A Response to Professor Simon, 27 Hofstra L. Rev. 13 (1998)
Just Deserts and Lenient Prosecutors, 91 Northwestern Univ. L. Rev. 1434 (1997)
What Juvenile Court Abolitionists Can Learn From the Failures of Sentencing Reform, 1996 Wisc. L. Rev. 557
Illusion, Illogic and Injustice: Real Offense Sentencing and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, 78 Minn. L. Rev. 403 (1993)
Two Cheers for "A Tale of Three Cities, 66 S. Cal. L. Rev. 567 (1992)
Coordinating Sanctions for Corporate Misconduct: Civil or Criminal Punishment, 29 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 961 (1992) (with C. Mayer)
The Bottom Line Defense in Title VII Actions: Supreme Court Rejection in Connecticut v. Teal and a Modified Approach, 68 Cornell L. Rev. 735 (1983)

Articles on Legal Education:
The Impact of Rankings and Rules on Legal Education Reform, 45 Conn. L. Rev. 1389 (2013).
Advancing Transparency in Law School Employment Data: The ABA’s New Standard 509, The Bar Examiner (Dec. 2012)
Current Crisis Reshapes Legal Education, Chicago Lawyer (September 2012)
Evolving Standards of Accreditation, Chicago Lawyer (August 2011)
The Future of Legal Education in Uncertain Times, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (March 10, 2010).
How to Choose a Law School, Chicago Lawyer (September 2008)


Law Deans on Legal Education Blog
How Long Do Law Deans Serve? (May 5, 2015)
Are Co-Deans the Wave of the Future?, (June 24, 2105)
The Flawed 2014 Bar Exam, (July 14, 2015)

The Faculty Lounge
The Downsizing of Legal Education, (Feb. 1, 2013)
The Changing Law School Learning Experience, (Feb. 8, 2013)
Loosening the ABA's Grip on Law Schools, (Feb. 21, 2013)

Above the Law
An Introduction, (Feb. 7, 2013)
Three Questions About Legal Education, (Feb. 21, 2013)
Why the ABA is Resistant to Change, (March 7, 2013)