UW Law School mourns the loss of Daniel O. Bernstine
Daniel Bernstine, a former UW Law School dean, died September 24, 2016, at his home.
A leader in legal education, Bernstine served as dean of the school from 1990 to 1997, before going on to serve as the president of Portland State University. In 2007, he was appointed as president to the Law School Admission Council, and continued in that role until his death.
“This is a huge loss for American legal education,” Blake Morant, dean of George Washington University Law School and former president of the Association of American Law Schools, told Law.com. “This is a person who has been a vanguard of legal education for many years.”
His early career included stints as a professor of law and interim dean at Howard University in
Washington, DC, and as a staff attorney for the US Department of Labor.
Bernstine earned a bachelor of arts degree at the University of California, Berkeley; a juris doctor at Northwestern University School of Law; and a master of laws at the University of Wisconsin Law School where he was the first graduate of the William H. Hastie Fellowship Program.
Bernstine was awarded the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award in recognition of his work in internationalization in higher education, and was a recipient of the International Citizen Award by the Oregon Consular Corps. He received numerous honorary degrees from universities internationally, including the Russian Federation, Japan, Korea, and Peru. He coauthored legal textbooks and contributed articles to journals, among them Wisconsin Environmental Law Journal, The Bar Examiner, Wisconsin Law Review, Black Law Journal, and Villanova Law Review.
“Dan was a remarkable man on many levels. As a professional, he was a strong leader, but he encouraged those around him to think creatively and to develop new initiatives,” says UW Law professor emeritus Charles Irish. “He had an exceptional ability in working with people that enabled him to take on and accomplish difficult tasks with disarming ease, which I suspect is why he was so well regarded at UW, Portland State University, and the Law School Admission Council, and why his death leaves a large void for so many of us.”